Meteorite whizzes by skydiver, gets caught on tape

A Norwegian skydiver appears to have an extremely close call with a falling meteorite, which fortunately wasn't on fire at the time.

Meteroid in flight
The meteroid in flight, as seen by the helmet camera. Video screenshot by Amanda Kooser/CNET

The odds of dying from a meteorite impact could be as slim as 1 in 250,000, according to Tulane University. So imagine the odds of going for a dive from an airplane and accidentally capturing a falling meteroid with your helmet camera. That's apparently what happened to Anders Helstrup in Norway.

The footage shows a small rock flying downward, just past Helstrup's open parachute. It hurtles from there down to an unknown landing location on Earth. There have been other theories about how the rock came to be captured on camera, like that it may have gotten accidentally packed into a parachute, but geologist Hans Amundsen believes it's real. "This is the first time in history that a meteorite has been filmed in the air after its light goes out," he told NRK, the Norwegian Broadcasting Corp.

The incident happened in 2012, but has only gone public just now to bolster the search efforts to find the meteorite's landing spot. The search has been dubbed Project Dark Flight, a reference to what happens when meteoroids survive atmospheric reentry, cool down, and fall to Earth at a lowered velocity.

Searchers have narrowed down the potential landing location by analyzing the flight path and triangulating to determine a search area, but the mysterious rock still hasn't been found. Since it was caught on video, the meteorite could potentially be very valuable.

The video below shows footage from Helstrup's front and back cameras. It's a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment when the meteoroid comes flying down, so watch closely:

 

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