[meteorite-list] Unidentified object from sky destroys car in Cottonwood
From: Pat Brown <radio_ranch_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Thu, 12 Mar 2009 13:45:33 -0700 (PDT)
Hi Eric, John, and the List,
I am not proposing that the plastic film melted. These types of plastic have a pretty high melting point, I think it mearly stretched without a whole lot of heat. The period of time that this impactor spent going through this windshield was very short (assuming free fall speeds of ~200mph, not orbital speeds), not enough time to transfer enough heat to melt glass or a very tough plastic film (polyvinyl butyral, or PVB).
--- On Thu, 3/12/09, Eric Wichman <eric at meteoritewatch.com> wrote:
> From: Eric Wichman <eric at meteoritewatch.com>
> Subject: Re: [meteorite-list] Unidentified object from sky destroys car in Cottonwood
> To: "meteorite-list at meteoritecentral.com" <meteorite-list at meteoritecentral.com>
> Cc: radio_ranch at yahoo.com
> Date: Thursday, March 12, 2009, 1:15 PM
> The plastic film might be melted but I can't tell by the
> photos. If it is then that would mean that the piece of
> debris was obviously hot while in flight. Since we are
> reasonably sure that a meteorite of this size capable of
> producing a hole the size of the one seen in the photo
> couldn't have been hot enough to melt the protective
> coating (particularly at the speeds needed to produce the
> hole) on the windshield then I would venture to say it might
> have been a piece of fiery -and heavy- debris from some
> Earthy and very terrestrial explosion. A burning piece of
> machinery or metal can fly very far (perhaps a mile or more)
> from the location of an explosion. Perhaps this is the
> answer. But this hangs on the supposition that the window
> coating is in fact melted, which you can't tell by the
> These excerpts from the article say most of it:
> "...'There was a loud explosion and bright
> light,' Orsot said. Rustled from his sleep, Orsot looked
> outside but didn't see anything unusual, so he went back
> to bed.
> Shasta County sheriff's deputies responded "...to
> a cluster of 911 calls in the neighborhood - all reporting a
> startling sound..."
> "...'It was a big kaboom,' said Leroy Bolls,
> the couple's next-door neighbor. 'Like a sonic boom,
> but real close.'..."
> He and his wife, Suzie, said the sound was strong enough to
> shake their house, and they thought a propane tank might
> have exploded..."
> The piece pictured in the article is very small, maybe an
> inch or two and very light.
> "..The piece Birondo still has at his office weighs
> 0.07 of a gram.." This is not the main impactor.
> "...Birondo said he sent one to the state Department
> of Justice crime laboratory. He hasn't heard back from
> scientists there on what the material might be..."
> We'll just have to wait and see what the lab says, if
> they say anything at all..
> Pat Brown wrote:
> > Hi Eric and the List,
> > Interesting photos. I highly doubt that the
> "windshield melted", it looks much more like the
> plastic film between the layers of glass (that make it
> safety glass as used in windshields) just stretched from the
> impacting object.
> > The photo of the 'debris' inside the car shure
> does not look like a meteorite or a re-entered piece of
> space junk. It also does not look like a blade from a big
> wood chipper like the last few 'meteorites' hitting
> cars and houses.
> > Pat Brown Hardware Reliability Engineer (and
> ex-materials engineer)
> > --- On Thu, 3/12/09, Eric Wichman
> <eric at meteoritewatch.com> wrote:
> >> From: Eric Wichman <eric at meteoritewatch.com>
> >> Subject: [meteorite-list] Unidentified object from
> sky destroys car in Cottonwood
> >> To: meteorite-list at meteoritecentral.com
> >> Date: Thursday, March 12, 2009, 9:06 AM
> >> What?! A meteorite or space debris?
> >> "..A meteorite may have been what smashed
> into the
> >> windshield of a Cottonwood couple's sport
> >> vehicle late last month, destroying much of the
> >> and melting some of the glass..."
> >> The photos of the supposed "meteorite"
> look like
> >> debris of some sort. Not like any meteorite
> I've ever
> >> seen.
> >> Could it be a piece of Satellite, and who was the
> >> offering $10K for the "meteorite"?
> >> Hmm....
> >> Regards,
> >> Eric Wichman
> >> Meteorites USA
> >> www.meteoritesusa.com
> >> ______________________________________________
> >> http://www.meteoritecentral.com
> >> Meteorite-list mailing list
> >> Meteorite-list at meteoritecentral.com
> -- Regards,
> Eric Wichman
> Meteorites USA
Received on Thu 12 Mar 2009 04:45:33 PM PDT