Samples from the crater
Samples from the crater

NICARAGUA NEWS – “Our hypothesis is still a meteorite. We are investigating the event with this idea,” explained Wilfried Strauch, scientific advisor to the Instituto Nicaragüense de Estudios Territoriales (INETER), on what could have generated the crater near the North Road Air Force base in Managua.

Nicaraguan scientist, Jaime Incer Barquero, visits the crater site.
Nicaraguan scientist, Jaime Incer Barquero, visits the crater site.

According to Strauch, authorities have made contact with Germany’s Geoscience Institute and have requested formal collaboration with the United States on a joint investigation of the incident.

According to the official government website, El19digital.com, Nicaraguan scientist, Jaime Incer Barquero, said that there is evidence of a meteor impact that formed the crater. During a visit to the site, in the company of other INETER experts, Barquero said “obviously its a crater resulting from an impact of a fallen object.”

“A crater from an impact is different that one from an explosion, as the explosion comes from outside and not from within (…),” said Barquero.

While experts continue looking for more evidence of a meteorite, critics ruled out the government version, saying the meteorite impact theory may be wrong.

A meteorite strike would also likely leave blackened fragments of the impacting body behind as evidence, both Cooke and meteor expert Peter Jenniskens said.

“If this crater has anything to do with a meteoroid impact, I would expect meteorites to be found in and around the crater,” Jenniskens, of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Institute in Mountain View, California, told Space.com via email.

Wilfried Strauch, scientific advisor to the Instituto Nicaragüense de Estudios Territoriales (INETER) during a news conference
Wilfried Strauch, scientific advisor to the Instituto Nicaragüense de Estudios Territoriales (INETER) during a news conference

No such pieces have been reported, and none are visible in photos of the crater, Cooke said.

“So I’m kind of skeptical of a meteoritic origin for this crater,” he said.

There there is the lack of witnesses to such a night-sky sight that should have caught the attention of many of the 1.5 million inhabitants of the Managua. People saw a bright fireball the last time Cooke can recall a meteorite blasting out a crater on Earth, in September 2007 near the Peruvian village of Carancas — and that impact occurred in broad daylight. But nothing in the Saturday night event.

A meteorite strike would also likely leave blackened fragments of the impacting body behind as evidence, both Cooke and meteor expert Peter Jenniskens said.

Sources: La Prensa; El 19 Digital; Space.com