Getting Personal With a Meteorite in Mid-air

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Amazing footage of a skydiver's close encounter with a passing meteorite has already been seen 1.5 million times on YouTube, according to the Norwegian website NRK.

Anders Hekstrup, an experienced member of the Oslo Parachute Club, leaped out of a plane flying 3,700 meters over a small town in eastern Norway on June 17, 2012. The rock flew past him shortly after he opened his parachute at about 1,200 meters.

“I didn’t register what was happening,” he told NRK. After he landed, he checked the footage recorded by his two helmet cameras and “could clearly see something that looked like a stone.”

The YouTube video, first released four days ago, shows the harrowing moment the space rock travelling about 300 km/h missed by just a few meters.

“If he'd jumped a fraction of a second later, he'd be dead,” said geologist Hans Erik Foss. “It would have cut him in half.”

“This is something new and exciting,” meteorite expert Morten Bilet told NRK, Norway’s government-owned broadcasting company. “Fireballs entering the atmosphere have been filmed many times. But a meteorite in dark flight — after it’s burnt out and is flying like a rock — has never been filmed before.”

Geologist Hans Amundsden is convinced that the foreign object was a rogue meteorite from the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. He said it was likely a breccia — an object composed of broken fragments of minerals or rock.

A screenshot from the video.

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