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The Greenland Qaqortoq* Meteorite

*Tradition dictates that a meteorite fall is named after the closest post office. This is Qaqortoq, at the southern tip of Greenland.

"A large fireball was witnessed over Southern Greenland on 9 December 1997. It passed a bit south of Nuuk in a southeasterly direction and may possibly have landed in Greenland itself rather than plunging into the sea. An air search was launched. The original size of the bolide could have been from 50 m if it was a stony body, to 100 m if it was an icy cometary fragment".

This report is copyright 1997 Pallasite Press from Meteorite! Magazine - Editor: Joel Schiff.

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The image previously shown on this page is now likely to be "a large lenticularis cloud the occurence of which is not uncommon in this area". If the cloud had been due to the meteorite its height was estimated by the Tycho Brahe Planetarium to be 6 - 8 km (based on the shadow cast). The enclosed volume of air would thus be at least 50,000 cubic km. If the moist air contained 0.1 gram of water per litre derived either from the meteoroid or from resulting evaporating ice, this amounts to 5 billion tons. Following this argument, the minimum meteorite mass required to melt and evaporate this amount of water is 4 million tons, if the velocity of the impactor was 70 km per second. Most scientists now dispute and reject this approach.