On Monday, Strasbourg firefighters were called early in the morning to intervene on a "smoke release on a car" parked in a peripheral district of the Alsatian city. At the scene, they found a vehicle... with a 50 cm diameter hole in the roof. How could this happen? Intrigued, the authorities wondered about the possibility of a meteorite fall.
"Following the reconnaissance of the first team, we suspect the fall of a stellar body," wrote the Bas-Rhin SDIS in its intervention report published at midday.
"When we arrived, we noticed a relatively large impact, with a diameter of about 50 cm, which went through the roof, the underbody and the fuel tank of the vehicle," fire captain Matthieu Colobert told AFP. The TF1 channel was able to film the impressive hole left by an unidentified element.
VIDEO - A car mysteriously destroyed in Strasbourg: "Everything suggests that it is a meteorite"
➡️ https://t.co/wNYM0HETKt pic.twitter.com/KbaZfTALgb
— TF1Info (@TF1Info) November 20, 2023
But "we didn't find any objects," the captain continued. "Either the object was so small that it cannot be found, or the impact was such that the object disintegrated and turned to dust," he speculated.
"A suspicion on a gravel"
A meteorite can be recognized "by its shape of a broken object" and its charred appearance, details the Fripon/Vigie-Ciel website. But also "the smoothing of its surface" and "the frequent presence of metal" which can rust and stain the rock brown. It's rare to find one, as the vast majority of asteroids disintegrate entirely upon entering our atmosphere, leaving no pieces.
"We still have a suspicion about a gravel" about two centimeters wide found at the scene, he said. The gravel was handed over to the police for further analysis to determine its nature. "It's an object the size of a hazelnut, which looks like burnt wood, very light," a police spokesman told AFP. He announced that the object would be sent to Paris to a forensic department. For the time being, research has concluded that there is no radioactivity.
"Did an object come from outer space? That's the whole point," the officer said. "Even a ball thrown at very high speed downhill can do damage. But you still have to prove that it's an object that comes from outer space. »