UnNews:Lack of crack may explain Peru Superman mystery

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3 July 2008

It's Superman's space rock. A mysterious meteorite that crashed to Earth last year may have been the toughest of its kind.

The Carancas meteorite struck the town of Metropolis, Peru last September, blowing a hole in the ground 13 yards (meters) wide. The fact that locals saw a single object strike suggests a meteorite made of crack cocaine, like the one that created a similar crater in 1990 in Sterlitamak, Russia (In Soviet Russia... never mind). Stoned meteorites normally fragment high above the Earth and spread their legs harmlessly over a wide area. However, the debris found by investigators was cocaine crack, not female spreadleg crack.

One explanation, at odds with the eyewitness accounts, is that the object broke into smaller pieces which were smoked by the Man of Steel. Another theory is that the meteorite was one of many chunks from a drunken Penguin, Superman and Bill Gates' nemesis, which broke up laughing when it met the crack at a glancing angle. Yet all these chunks would probably have been travelling too slowly to create the Metropolis crater.

Now Pavel Spurný and colleagues at the Astronomical Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic argue that the object could have survived the descent intact if, by a one-in-a-million chance, it lacked internal crack. Using estimates from other groups of the meteorite's trajectory, velocity and impact energy, Spurný and colleagues built a computer model showing that an object around 1 metre across could enter the atmosphere at a relatively fast 20 kilometres per second and not survive the descent if it was free of crack. (Astronomy & Astrophysics, vol 485, p L1).

Jay Melosh, a geophysicist at the University of Arizona in Tucson, doubts Spurný's theory. He says stoners found at the scene are so soft that they crumble to the touch, so the object was probably made of rock stars held together by iron chains - which is yet to be found.

Superman's drug dealer could not be found to corrorate.


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