[meteorite-list] Iranian Fireball Was Of Geophysical Origin
From: Rosemary Hackney <ltcrose_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Thu Apr 22 10:31:22 2004
Is this similar to the Elma incident? Elma intrigues me. It looks like sand
or particulate material having been fused. Perhaps was sucked up by a dust
devil or other storm wind and electrical discharge in the atmosphere fused
it like glass? Anyway.. is this Iranian material considered a geometeorite
----- Original Message -----
From: "Ron Baalke" <baalke_at_zagami.jpl.nasa.gov>
To: "Meteorite Mailing List" <meteorite-list_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Sent: Thursday, February 12, 2004 11:38 AM
Subject: [meteorite-list] Iranian Fireball Was Of Geophysical Origin
> PRESS-RELEASE: Feb 8, 2004
> CONTACTS: Mr. Pouria Nazemi,
> Tel: +98 (021) 827 0029
> E mail : news_at_nojum.net
> INTERNATIONAL GROUP OF EXPERTS COMES TO CONCLUSION THAT THE FIREBALL
> FALLEN ON THE IRANIAN TOWN OF BABOL ON JANUARY 2, 2004 WAS NOT A
> BUT WAS OF GEOPHYSICAL ORIGIN
> On January 2, 2004 a report appeared about a meteorite fall on the town
> of Babol, Iran. A group of Iranian experts associated with Nojum
> magazine began to investigate. The group consisted of Mr. Pouria Nazemi,
> has a large expertise in seeking scientific news and contacted many
> organizations to collect more information and also a science journalist
> (Mathematics BSc.), Miss Mohaddesseh Azimlu who was looking for physical
> explanation for such events since the previous one in some months ago
> (Physics Ms.)
> Mr. Iman Naderi, a serious amateur astronomer who didn't miss a moment to
> reach the place and make early report and photos, Mr. Siavash Safarianpour
> who organizes a daily live TV program in popular astronomy and Mr. Oshin
> Zakarian, a nature and night sky photographer.
> Witnesses reported that the event started with seismic, and sound
> which were followed by unordinary light inside house and explosion with a
> loud sound and ended by falling of a fireball which threw out sparks and
> described as a " suspended lightning "about 2 meters in diameter and
> disappeared spontaneously. The boy who came out first and saw the ball had
> burnt his face, but nobody else was hurt.
> Despite that the investigation continues, already now it is possible to
> state that the event had nothing to do with a fall of an extraterrestrial
> body, and evidently was of geophysical origin.
> Investigation of damage in the town caused by the event reveals that a
> house, which was in the epicenter of the explosion, was badly damaged by
> explosion, and many houses within several hundred meters from it have some
> minor damage. No traces of meteorite or any other object fallen were
> discovered. The damage of the house partly was as caused by some energy
> source inside the house, while possibility of a gas explosion etc. can be
> After coming to conclusion that the event was caused neither by a
> meteorite, nor by any known made object, the Iranian experts contacted
> Dr. Andrei Ol'khovatov from Moscow, Russia.
> He has a special web-page ( http://olkhov.narod.ru/gr1997.htm ) , devoted
> similar unexplained fireball falls, which have nothing to do with
> falls, but are of geophysical origin. Dr. Ol'khovatov prefers to call them
> geophysical meteors or just geometeors. According to him, these events are
> poorly known, and little plausible physical mechanism was proposed for
> yet, but observational data points that geometeors in many aspects
> an energetic high-speed "ball-lightning". Anyway, a statistical analysis
> conducted by Dr. Ol'khovatov revealed that geometeors have a tendency to
> occur in some special geophysical situations.
> So Dr. Ol'khovatov has joined the group of Iranian researchers in
> investigation of the Babol event. One of the tasks was to check whether
> geophysical situation of the Babol event was favorable for geometeors,
> especially in an aspect of cloudiness development in the region. It was
> checked through satellite meteorological diagrams and however it didn't
> any cloud in the region, but starting changes in weather condition.
> The Babol fireball was neither the first nor the last one in Iran. Some
> months ago Nojum received a report about observing a fire ball on May 23,
> 2003 in Marzanabad, in North of Iran. It was in a rainy evening and big
> thunders occurred continuously. Witnesses saw a high speed fireball hit
> old big trees, broke them with a very loud sound and continued its way.
> electricity broke in village for a few hours.
> On January 21, 2004 another fireball came to visit an Iranian village in
> North West, near MeshkinShahr in Ardabil state. It was again a stormy
> that a white fireball, bigger than full moon appeared in the sky and after
> few minutes disappeared. Simultaneously electricity broke in the whole
> for several hours and a house was damaged. A part of roof covering was
> disappeared and a wall and door was broken with a loud sound.
> As both these two events have happened in stormy weather with thunders and
> lightning, investigators come to conclude that they should be ordinary
> lightnings" that may be produced in such conditions. During natural
> lightning a part of air molecules become ionized (which is called plasma)
> and shine as a flash in a moment and come back to ordinary state (we saw
> as the path of lightning); but in rarely conditions that we still don't
> completely this plasma is caught in a ball shape and if hits anything may
> release a lot of energy like a lightning with same loud sound and
> destruction. We know very little about natural ball lightnings, but can
> them artificially in very small size in laboratory.
> Anyway, the investigation continues, as those events and specially that
> in Babol gives a rare possibility to get a lot of data about such poorly
> known meteorological or geophysical phenomena.
> Group members are also waiting for your reports about any similar
> observations at news_at_nojum.net.
> Meteorite-list mailing list
Received on Thu 12 Feb 2004 02:11:59 PM PST