Object that killed man in Tamil Nadu is meteorite, say experts

Object that killed man in Tamil Nadu is meteorite, say experts

Challenging NASA’s statement that the object that killed a man recently was not a meteorite, experts in Tamil Nadu confirmed that the samples collected from the spot in Vellore is space debris.

A team from Trichy’s National College Instrumentation Facility (NCIF) that collected and studied the fallen material Found the distinct meteoric footprints on the object that triggered an explosion at a Vellore college last week. 

"Based on the study, we concluded that the fallen objects are meteorites since it contained carbonaceous chondrites, which are non-metallic meteorite parts containing mineral granules", geologist and NCIF principal Anbarasu, who headed the team, told Deccan Herald on Monday. 

Stating that the materials were studied under Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) to understand the micro-morphological characteristics, he said the analysis of the substance through SEM-EDX (Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy) also reveals the presence of framboidal magnetites and pyrites.

"The presence of iron, nickel,Titanium, oxygen, carbon, silicon, sodium, aluminium, calcium, manganese, sulphur and potassium in the material are confirmed", he said adding the materials were also studied under Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) that revealed the presence of aliphatic hydrocarbons.

The NCIF discovery came days after NASA opposed Tamil Nadu government's claim that the man died from a meteorite strike, which scientists consider a rare event.

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