Indian Locals Believe to Have Found Piece of Shooting Star

Category: Human Interest


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. suspected / səˈspɛk tɪd / (adj) – referring to something that is believed to have caused a bad effect

    The suspected cause of the disease is the dirty river that runs parallel to the town.

  2. afire / əˈfaɪər / (adj) – burning

    The firefighters quickly responded when they heard that a house was afire.

  3. thud / θʌd / (n) – a loud, dull sound made when something heavy falls

    Her expensive bottle of perfume fell to the floor with a thud.

  4. commotion / kəˈmoʊ ʃən / (n) – a period of confusion

    The fire alarm went off and caused a commotion inside the building.

  5. wreak havoc / rik ˈhæv ək / (idiom) – to seriously damage something

    The typhoon wreaked havoc on the houses.


Read the text below.

A suspected meteorite landed in a rice field in Bihar state, India.

Local farmers and villagers were working in the field when the object fell from the sky. The object was afire before it crashed into the ground with a loud thud, causing a commotion among the villagers. Upon impact, it created a four-foot-deep crater and left a cloud of smoke in the air. The locals waited for the smoke to disappear before digging up the object.

What the villagers recovered was something that looked like an ordinary rock as big as a football. It was light brown in color with a little sheen, weighed 15 kilograms, and reportedly had magnetic properties. It was brought to the Bihar Museum to be displayed. Later, the rock will be transferred to Srikrishna Science Center, where scientists will determine if it is, in fact, a meteorite.

Meteorites come from shooting stars or meteors, which are rocks that enter the Earth’s atmosphere. Meteors become meteorites when they land on the surface of the Earth. Scientists study the latter to gather more information about the solar system, the geology of our planet and our moon, and the history of life on Earth.

Although scientists delight in the information brought about by meteorites, meteorite landings can pose a threat to people. In 2016, an alleged meteorite hit a man in a school in Tamil Nadu, India. The object wreaked havoc on the school and also left a crater. Unfortunately, the man was seriously injured and died before he was even brought to the hospital.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• If you saw a meteorite land near you, would you inspect it or report it to authorities first? Explain.
• Do you think the benefits of the information that can be gathered from meteorites outweigh the dangers of meteorite landings? Discuss.

Discussion B

• What kind of unusual event would you like to witness (e.g. eclipse, meteor shower)? Why?
• Would you like these events to happen in your country? Why or why not?