Skydiver Captures Rare Meteorite on Camera as It Nearly Hits Him

When Anders Helstrup leapt from an airplane in the summer of 2012, he expected it would be like any other jump. And it was—except for one slight difference, which he only realized after the fact. While reviewing his GoPro camera footage, Anders noticed something odd: a rock falling from the sky. You can watch the full story here, produced by Norwegian public broadcaster NRK:

It’s faint at first, but clearly visible: a meteorite fragment, no larger than an apple, zooms by him at 300 km/h. Anders and a documentary crew visit an astro-geologist, who deduced that the rock was what’s called a “breccia”, a part of a meteorite from an asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. It fell into the gravitational pull of the sun and kept falling, at a velocity five times faster than a bullet, and by chance got caught in earth’s gravity. (Via PetaPixel)

“If you’d jumped a fraction of a second later, you’d be dead… It would have cut [you] in half.” – Hans Erik Foss Amundsen, geologist

skydiver-asteroid

The search is now on for the asteroid, which could be anywhere near the Østre Æra Airport in Hedmark. It’s possible that, given the intense trajectory, the rock buried itself deep into the ground somewhere. But local Norwegian geologists aren’t giving up hope: this is too rare an opportunity.

Never before has a meteorite been captured in what’s called its “dark flight” stage—that’s when it shoots straight down, instead of an an angle.

norway-skydiving

“It has never happened before that a meteorite has been filmed during dark flight; this is the first time in world history… It’s certainly much less likely than winning the lottery three times in a row.” – Hans Erik Foss Amundsen

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