Almost eight thousands meters above the province of Pinar del Rio in western Cuba, a meteorite exploded on Friday, showering 40 to 50 shards throughout the region in Dos Hermanas, El Palmarito, Los Jazmines, El Cuajani, and Viñales.
Astrophysicist Oscar Alvarez told Granmar reporters these artifacts could unlock the secrets of the world’s creation and the origin of life on earth as well expand the knowledge of our solar system.
Scientists believe there could be dozens of other meteorite particles scattered around the Caribbean nation and have advised locals to avoid touching the stones, to prevent contamination.
The meteorite weighed roughly three tons with a height of ten or 12 km prior to reaching earth’s atmosphere. Crystallized components of iron and nickel identified the meteorite as achondrite, experts say.
Cubans and Floridians alike witnessed the ball of fire crossing the sky Friday before the supercharged explosion which scientists say, equalled 440,000 tons of TNT. Rumors circled the web of an airplane explosion, but NASA and the International Astronomical Union confirmed the incredible event, noting that its the second of its kind since a meteor soar over Chelyabinsk, Russia in 2013.
At least five meteorites have been confirmed falling in Cuba during the last 80 years, the last in 2001, all verified by chemical analysis and other techniques.