Search for meteorite

THERE has been much talk about the meteor that passed over the local area on Tuesday, August 17, with the significant occurrence even drawing a Research Geologist to Bombala to try and find some hard evidence.

Dr Andy Tomkins of the Monash University’s School of Geosciences travelled to Bombala last Friday, spending two days on an initial attempt to gather information and locate the meteorite.

Dr Tomkins spoke with local man, David Turnbull, who seems to be the only one who saw the actual meteor clearly as it passed over where he stood in Craigie on that afternoon.

David explained his location at the time to Dr Tomkins, and described the 20 second occurrence, which saw him witness the meteor pass overhead and then break into pieces in the direction of Delegate.

From David’s description, Dr Tomkins was able to concentrate his efforts on the Mt Tingaringy area, but had no success with his search for the meteorite.

“Normally when you’re recovering a meteorite you are able to get information from a number of people who saw it, and you can triangulate an approximate position from their combined information,” Dr Tomkins said.

“Unfortunately in this case, although David was very helpful and many people heard it, there were no other sightings to work from.

“With the observation information I had, and comments from farmers of the outlying areas who did not hear the event, the best I could say was that the meteorite fell between Suggan Buggan and Mt Tingaringy.”

This is obviously a large area, and Dr Tomkins was seriously hindered by the difficult terrain in the district, which was more challenging than he had expected.

Although he still has interest in the occurrence, Dr Tomkins said he will not continue the search unless further reports come of sightings which may help better pinpoint the location of the meteorite.

With that in mind, we urge anyone who saw the meteor in the sky on August 17 to get in touch with the Bombala Times on 6458 3666 so we can pass the information on.

Dr Tomkins explains that we have learnt amazing things from meteorites in the past - including how old the Earth is and what is at its core - and it’s hoped that someone will be able to help locate the meteorite that is most likely right now lying in wait somewhere within the steep terrain of the Mt Tingaringy area.

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