Megacryometeors: Giant ice ball falls from sky in Africa

By | July 11, 2006

Megacryometeors Giant ice ball falls from sky in Africa

Professor Jesus Martinez-Frias, head of the Planetary Geology Laboratory at the Centro de Astrobiolog?a in Madrid, has warned that the microwave oven-sized ice object could be a portent of “serious environmental problems”. Frias is an authority in the megacryometeor phenomenon, having written a number of research papers on possible reasons for its development. According to his research, falling ice balls have been recorded since the 19th century.

And, six years ago, a plague of falling ice balls caused extensive damage to cars and an industrial storage facility in the Iberian Peninsula. Fortunately, Africa’s first recorded ice ball was far less destructive, melting almost immediately after it shattered on its pavement landing area. … Sofika and guard S’Wester Moya were sitting in a security booth outside the Fontana de la Vita complex when they saw a white object plunge from the sky. The impact of the ice ball’s fall created a small crater on the pavement, which was covered with pieces of broken ice.

“Megacryometeors are not the classical big hailstones, ice from aircraft (waste water or tank leakage), nor the simple result of icing processes at high altitudes,” Frias said. “The term ‘megacryometeor’ was recently coined to name large atmospheric ice conglomerations, which, despite sharing many textural, hydrochemical and isotopic features detected in large hailstones, are formed under clear-sky conditions,” he said. – star

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