Monday 22 April 2013

Meteorite falls near Toluca, followed by a minor earthquake in Mexico City

Over Toluca
At 8:05 pm local time on April 21 residents of Toluca, México – a city about 45 minutes west of Mexico City – saw a “luminous body” falling in the sky.

Eleven minutes later, an earthquake registering 5.8 on the Richter scale hit Mexico City.

The coincident events created a flurry of activity on social media, with #MeteoritoToluca trending on Twitter.

A series of photographs and videos of the initial event reveal a bright reddish object falling from the sky.

The object seen in Toluca may be associated with the Lyrid meteor shower, which occurs every year in mid-April when the earth passes through a trail of ice and dust debris left by the Thatcher comet.

During last year’s shower a meteoroid created a sonic boom that rattled buildings in California and Nevada around.

However, it is believed that that air burst, which was powerful enough to be recorded by two infrasound monitoring stations of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization’s International Monitoring System, was likely from a random meteoroid unrelated to the Lyrids shower.

(TE Wilson is the author of Mezcalero, a Detective Sánchez novel.)

Twitter: @TimothyEWilson
Email: lapoliticaeslapolitica [at] gmail [dot] com

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