Hit By a Meteorite: What Are the Odds?

Assuming this is not some kind of joke, and coming from the UK Telegraph newspaper site this is probably a safe assumption, then a 14 year old boy in Germany was recently hit by a meteorite.

If you are using Internet Explorer 7 or higher, of FireFox, use Ctrl+Click on the above image to go to the article on the UK Telegraph Web site and open it in a new Tab.

It seems that the pea sized meteorite, which was travelling at 30,000 miles per hour, skimmed past the lad's hand opening up a 3 inch long wound, and then bounced off it and smashed into the earth "causing a foot wide crater in the ground".

The article says it bounced off his hand, but to my way of thinking a pea sized piece of rock travelling at 30,000 miles per hour is unlikely to bounce of something as soft as a human hand. It is more likely it skimmed past his hand and carried on into the ground with very little deviation to its trajectory; especially considering it caused a foot wide crater on impact with the ground.

The Telegraph article states that the chances of being hit by a meteorite are "1 in a million". Having done two units of statistics—albeit about 30 years ago now and I have forgotten most of what I learnt—I would suggest the the chances of being hit be a meteorite are somewhat higher than "1 in a million". Particularly as the last recording of such an incident was in 1954 and that was not a direct hit.

Anyway, it is a semi-interesting read.

Barry.