Despite a 1,000-strong search team and a police helicopter looking for the remains of a giant fireball seen in the skies of central Colombia, authorities have been unable to locate the supposed meteorite’s crash site.
The Colombian media has been buzzing with eyewitness accounts of the fireball, which fell from the sky, causing a massive explosion at 3:15PM Sunday.
However after an intense search Monday authorities were find any remnant of the meteorite.
A committee assembled by Santander Governor Horacio Serpa to analyze the phenomenon said they believe it was a type of meteorite known as an aerolite, which can be comprised of either iron or rock and ice. They believe it is likely to be the latter type, which often breaks up into small fragments in the air, making it impossible to locate on the ground.
Gregorio Portilla, an astronomer Colombia’s National University, said that around 30 meteorites fall to earth each year.
“These bodies can travel at a speed of between 11 and 70 kilometers per second, as in, a speed five times the speed of sound” and usually break up in the air or upon impact with the earth’s surface, Portilla said.
Valle del Cauca police commander Colonel Nelson Aceros said he heard the explosion and “it felt like the earth was shaking.” The explosion was heard in the municipalities of El Cairo, Versalles Toro, and El Dovio.
Versalles Mayor Jorge Hernan Gomez said locals had been frightened after seeing “a dazzling light followed by an extremely strong explosion that shook the earth.”
“It was thought to have been a plane that crashed, but that hypothesis was ruled out,” he added.