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L

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RE: Puno meteorite
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Las extrañas peripecias de un hombre que hizo fortuna cazando meteoritos
En un comienzo, para Michael Farmer los meteoritos eran una afición, pero descubrió que podía venderlos, en ocasiones, hasta con un mil por ciento de ganancia y desde ese día no trabaja en nada más.

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L

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El jefe policial señaló que el retiro obedece a órdenes superiores y no por un supuesto malestar generado tras las acusaciones del denominado cazameteoritos, Michael Farmer, quien señaló que efectivos de Desaguadero vendieron fragmentos del cuerpo celeste caído en la comunidad de Carancas.
Al respecto reiteró que interpuso la denuncia penal contra el norteamericano por difamarme y atentar contra mi honor y el honor de mi familia y mi institución.

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L

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It's a story worthy of an "Indiana Jones" sequel: Drawn by outlandish legends, a controversial collector journeys to Peru, purchases pieces of a rare meteorite under shady circumstances, then has to hightail it across the border to Bolivia with police in hot pursuit. Now the plot is nearing its resolution - and the finale could make another meteorite-size splash.

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L

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Hum,
someone is trying to sell something as a Carancas meteorite on Ebay.

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Ed - I of course do not condone the selling of any scientific important objects and their removal from the public domain into private hands.

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L

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"Without reservation this is definitely a meteorite. We found some infrasound data recorded by a station in La Paz about 70 km away. From the size of the airwave we can work out the kinetic energy of the impactor--about 0.03 kiloton TNT" - Peter Brown, astronomy professor at the University of Western Ontario.

From the airwave signal a source energy (16:34 ± 4 min UT) of less than 0.1 kton TNT was calculated.

InfSouCrater_1
Infrasound signal from the Peruvian Fireball recorded by the La Paz station on 15th September.
Credit La Paz station

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L

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 Fotografías tomadas por uno de los científicos del IGP confirmaron días después la presencia de este estadounidense. Previamente las autoridades habían negado esta posibilidad.
   Según Farmer, los comuneros y la Policía le vendieron 300 gramos de meteorito divididos en unos 100 fragmentos, por los cuales llegó a pagar más o menos mil dólares.

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L

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736px-Crater.jpg

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L

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The 2007 Peruvian meteorite event was a meteorite impact event that occurred at 11:45 local time (16:45 GMT) on September 15, 2007, when a chondritic meteorite crashed near the village of Carancas in the Puno Region, Peru, near the Bolivian border and Lake Titicaca. The impact created a large crater with visibly scorched earth around the impact site. A local official, Marco Limache, said that boiling water started coming out of the crater, and particles of rock and cinders were found nearby, as fetid, noxious gases spewed from the crater. Soon after the impact, over 600 villagers who had visited the site began to fall ill from then unexplained causes.

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L

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The following table shows mass and speed combinations that correspond to a yield in the neighborhood of 10 tons.

Green:  possible
Red: seems infeasible for realistic trajectory



         5 tons yield (seems credible)
                10 tons yield (seems high)
    20 tons yield
(realistically, too high for the 40-ft downward revision of the crater size)
               MASS (tons)
       40            10             4.5
       80           20             9
       160           40           18
   SPEED (kilometers / second)
       1                            3
                     2              3        1               2              3

Table: Very rough- there is much uncertainty in the mass and speed of the impactor.


I conclude that the total mass that caused the crater was at most a  few tens of tons, and this was moving at 1 to 3 kilometers per second. My best guess is "it came from outer space" on the low end of yield with around 10 tons of mass on impact moving at nearly 2 km/s. A mass below five tons but moving at several kilometers per second seems unlikely- the meteorite needed to avoid disintegrating and small, fast objects are at a disadvantage. On the other extreme, a mass of hundreds of tons has a fairly high ballistic coefficient and seems unlikely to be moving at speeds below a kilometer per second. Such high masses are extremely unlikely.
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L

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The strange events surrounding the spectacular impact of a meteorite in Peru in early September are still unfolding.
Locals and tourists, wishing to visit the massive crater site, have been told to stay away, and geological experts claim the crater "will disappear" in the next few months. Locals have also been told to forget any plans they had for milking tourist dollars out of the crash site.

PeruMeteorite.jpg

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