Skydiver almost hit by meteorite

Last updated 15:39 04/04/2014
Meteorite in its dark flight stage

ROCK IT: Screenshot from skydiver Anders Helstrup's video of a meteorite during its dark flight stage.

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According to geologist Hans Amundsen - of the Natural History Museum in Oslo - this is the first ever film of a meteorite falling through its dark flight stage.

You can see the meteorite zooming down at the 0:22 mark.

The lucky guy who filmed it was skydiver Anders Helstrup, who survived the encounter unscathed.

The chances of this happening, according to the scientist, are "much less likely than winning the lottery three times in a row."

While he almost got hit by it, Anders told the Norwegian national television NKR that he didn't see it when it happened.

"I got the feeling that there was something, but I didn't register what was happening."

It was only after he looked at the footage of his helmet cam when he realised this could be a rock from outer space.

He was amazed and eventually took the film to the University of Oslo. The scientists there confirmed that, indeed, it was a meteorite plunging into Earth at terminal velocity, a stage called dark flight.

During this phase, the meteorite "no longer travels at an angle, but falls straight down."

According to Amundsen, who initially was very sceptical about it's nature, it can't be anything else.

"The shape is typical of meteorites - a fresh fracture surface on one side, while the other side is rounded." He believes that "the meteorite had been part of a larger stone that had exploded perhaps 20 kilometres above Helstrup."

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