Scientists have discovered the earliest evidence of a person being killed by a meteorite.
Writing in the journal Meteoritics and Planetary Science, experts explain how they uncovered evidence of the incident, which occurred in Iraq in the late 19th century.
“To the best of our knowledge, we show the first proof of an event ever that a meteorite hit and killed a man and left paralyzed another on August 22, 1888 in Sulaymaniyah, Iraq, based on three manuscripts written in Ottoman Turkish that were extracted from the General Directorate of State Archives of the Presidency of the Republic of Turkey,” the researchers explained in an abstract of their study.
The incident was also reported to the Ottoman Sultan Abdul Hamid II by the governor of Sulaymaniyah, the authors said. “These findings suggest other historical records may still exist that describe other events that caused death and injuries by meteorites,” they added.
A small chunk of an asteroid or comet is also known as a meteoroid. When it enters Earth's atmosphere, it becomes a meteor or fireball or shooting star. The pieces of rock that hit the ground, valuable to collectors, are meteorites.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.
Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers