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Schoolboy Gets Personal Meteor Lesson

 

Updated : Jun 12, 2009

A German schoolboy is thanking his lucky stars - after surviving being hit by a falling one.

Gerrit Blank, 14, was rushing to school when he saw a massive fireball heading straight towards him from the sky.

"At first I just saw a large ball of light, and then I suddenly felt a pain in my hand," he explained. "Then a split second after that there was an enormous bang like a crash of thunder."

The white-hot meteorite hit the ground so hard it left a foot wide crater in the tarmac and a three-inch long scar on Gerrit's hand where it bounced off him.

"The noise that came after the flash of light was so loud that my ears were ringing for hours afterwards.

"When it hit me it knocked me flying and then was still going fast enough to bury itself into the road," he explained.

Scientists are now studying the pea-sized meteorite which crashed to Earth in Essen, Germany. Chemical tests have proved it came from outer space.

Expert Ansgar Korte, director of Germany's Walter Hohmann Observatory, said: "It's a real meteorite, therefore it is very valuable to collectors and scientists."

The chances of being struck by a meteorite are just 1 in 100 million, he explained.

"Most don't actually make it to ground level because they evaporate in the atmosphere. Of those that do get through, about six out of every seven of them land in water," he added.

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