What is it?
Photo: Ilan Lilush, Tel Aviv Police

'It can't be a meteorite'

Expert says police wrong, unidentified object that landed on beach Saturday not a meteorite

So what really landed on a Bat Yam beach? Lifeguards at the religious beach in Bat Yam were excited Saturday when an unidentified objected landed from the sky and kept burning.


However, an expert says the police are wrong to assume the object was a small meteorite.


"Meteorites are never on fire and they don't generate smoke," said Darryl Pitt, founder of the Macovich Collection of Meteorites, one of the largest of its kind. "Even though they are referred to as 'fireballs,' they are not balls of fire; what we see in the night sky is merely the luminescence of super-heated gases."


Pitt viewed video of the unidentified object and said he is 100% sure it is not a meteorite.


"Meteorites are not remotely hot enough to ignite a fire or be on fire. This is the stuff of movies and vivid imaginations," he said. "The brief super-heating of a meteorite's exterior surface while plunging through the Earth's atmosphere does not overwhelm the cold core of this object prior to atmospheric entry."


However, lifeguards in Bat Yam are still excited about the experience.


"We put the object in the water 10 times, and it kept on burning," lifeguard Yossi Mizrahi said. "It's a nice experience. Good thing it didn't end with casualties."


His colleague, lifeguard Yom Betsalel, summed it up: "There is no doubt that there's some holiness on the Bat Yam beach."


פרסום ראשון: 04.24.10, 22:07
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