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article imageMeteorite explodes over Cyprus early Friday morning

By Karen Graham     Sep 9, 2016 in Science
Residents in Cyprus experienced a near-Earth encounter early Friday when a suspected meteorite exploded overhead with a flash of light and a thunderous roar that caused the ground to shake.
There were no reports of casualties or damage related to the event that was seen and felt across a wide area in the south of the Mediterranean island between midnight and 1:00 a.m. Friday morning. Authorities are now looking for space rock debris that would provide evidence it was a meteorite.
Iordanis Demetriades, an official with the Cyprus Geological Department said there was no indication the object hit the Earth, reports CS Monitor. It probably "exploded in the sky," he said.
Times Live is reporting that a police spokesman, Andreas Angelides said, "We have yet to confirm that it was, in fact, a meteorite but it is more than likely that it was,"
Angelides added that the police had received hundreds of calls from the south coast of the island, with witnesses saying they had seen a flash of light in the sky and a "series of loud noises, especially in the districts of Nicosia and Limassol."
While people who see a meteorite lighting up the sky as it explodes in our atmosphere may be terrified, it is actually a very common occurrence, says NASA. The space agency has identified over 13,500 near-Earth objects (NEO) of all sizes orbiting within 30 million miles of the Earth.
Over 95 percent of them have been discovered since NASA-funded surveys started in 1988. Now, about 1,500 new NEOs are detected every year. According to Forbes, NASA tracks about 30 meteorite impacts every year. Most of the impacts are never noticed because they happen over the oceans.
Actually, to be precise, meteorites are pieces of asteroids or comets. When they hit the Earth's atmosphere they create a fireball which can sometimes be seen for miles. For the few that survive the intense heat and friction of coming through our atmosphere, and actually reach the surface without breaking up, they are known as meteorites.
More about Meteorite, Cyprus, Troodos mountain range, NASA, Confirmation
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