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Author Topic: Did a meteor hit my pond?  (Read 8339 times)

Offline meteorman81

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Did a meteor hit my pond?
« on: 29/12/2010 22:31:38 »
This morning I left my house to find a 6" diameter hole straight through about 5" of ice.  The water had seeped up from below to melt the ice in a large area around the hole.  There were no footprints or animal tracks anywhere on the pond.  This is very weird, but this same thing happened last year and for the past year I have been jokingly telling people that a meteor hit my pond because a meteor was proven to hit a house located about 20 miles away from my house on the very same night. I saw on the internet that a large meteor was seen over Massachussets last night.  I live only 50 miles from the Mass border.  If anyone out there reading is an astronomer or scientist, what are the chances a meteor hit my pond two years in a row?  Any ideas what could be causing these strange holes?


 

SteveFish

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Did a meteor hit my pond?
« Reply #1 on: 29/12/2010 23:21:22 »
If the holes for the two years are in the approximate same place, I would look for a spring leaking warmer water into the pond. Otherwise there are more possibilities for falling objects including space junk and aircraft parts. Take some sightings of the hole so you could look on the bottom in the general area when it is warmer to see what you might find. Otherwise, it is a good story to tell.
 

Offline RD

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Did a meteor hit my pond?
« Reply #2 on: 30/12/2010 00:25:13 »
A neat circular ice-hole like this ? ...



« Last Edit: 30/12/2010 00:32:20 by RD »
 

Offline graham.d

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Did a meteor hit my pond?
« Reply #3 on: 30/12/2010 09:17:35 »
The chance of a meteor strike is very low. The chance of two meteor strikes (or anything falling from space) in close proximity are vanishingly small. I would look for a more likely and more prosaic explanation.
 

SteveFish

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Did a meteor hit my pond?
« Reply #4 on: 30/12/2010 16:10:51 »
After thinking about this a little more I now think that an incoming rock from space traveling at greater than 25K miles - 40K kilometers/hour might just  make a little splash in a frozen pond and make a big ragged hole and spread pond bottom scunge (technical term) all over. I think RD's explanation is more likely. What kind of fish are in the pond?
 

Offline Airthumbs

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Did a meteor hit my pond?
« Reply #5 on: 30/12/2010 17:16:31 »
Have any Eskimos moved to your area recently?
 

Offline Geezer

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Did a meteor hit my pond?
« Reply #6 on: 30/12/2010 18:02:31 »
Are there beavers in the area? It might be a beaver's air hole.
 

Offline meteorman81

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Did a meteor hit my pond?
« Reply #7 on: 30/12/2010 18:15:49 »
Some photos of the impact site taken at noon on 12/30.  We came out of the house 12/29 to find this mysterious hole in our pond.  It is a small pond 1/2 acre or so, with 3 grass carp, frogs, and a school of goldfish. About 8 foot deep in the area of the hole.  The area is fairly developed which leads me to believe a stray beaver or otter did not make this hole. We have never seen any animals like that in the area in the 8 years we have lived here.  The footsteps you see are mine from when I took the photos. 



« Last Edit: 30/12/2010 18:58:12 by meteorman81 »
 

Offline RD

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Did a meteor hit my pond?
« Reply #8 on: 30/12/2010 19:43:52 »
Using edge-finder it looks like the original (larger) hole had straight edges ...



Chain sawIce saw ?     [from the large extent of the snow-free flooded area of ice, my money is on chainsaw]
« Last Edit: 30/12/2010 20:12:25 by RD »
 

Offline meteorman81

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Did a meteor hit my pond?
« Reply #9 on: 30/12/2010 20:25:57 »
I believe a chainsaw would have woken us up.  More evidence for the meteor strike is the debris shown at the top of the hole.  something stirred up the bottom and this debris rised to the surface. 
 

Offline Bill S

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Did a meteor hit my pond?
« Reply #10 on: 30/12/2010 21:25:18 »
Meteorman81, if you had 2 meteor strikes in the same pond in 2 years, can I ask you to pick my lottery numbers for me?  ;D
 

Offline meteorman81

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Did a meteor hit my pond?
« Reply #11 on: 30/12/2010 22:14:39 »
HaHa.  I cant wait for tomorrows megamillions drawing.  Who do I call, NYS deparment of environmental conservation? a meteorologist? NOAA?
other photos

« Last Edit: 30/12/2010 22:28:38 by meteorman81 »
 

Offline CliffordK

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Did a meteor hit my pond?
« Reply #12 on: 31/12/2010 09:22:51 »
Something just sounds a little "strange".

What is the temperature outside?

How deep is the pond at the point of the hole?

Anyway to safely get a water temperature at the hole? 

Are you sure the ice is 6" thick at the hole?

If it had been a high velocity impact, I would expect to see some kind of a radial fracture pattern.  Assuming the temps are below freezing, I would also expect the hole to skin over quickly. 

I'm thinking that escaping gas is agitating the water slightly at the point of the hole, and preventing the hole from fully icing up.  Personally, I'd be a little careful around the hole.

The ice is always thinnest in the middle....  so that is where I'd expect it to freeze last, and thaw first.
 

Offline syhprum

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Did a meteor hit my pond?
« Reply #13 on: 31/12/2010 14:23:37 »
I too was going to suggest that you hang a thermometer in the hole on about a 1 meter line also another about 10 meters away and note if there is any difference in temperature.
An upswelling of relatively warm water seems the most likely explanation or possibly methane gas from rotting vegetation.
« Last Edit: 31/12/2010 14:25:41 by syhprum »
 

Offline RD

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Did a meteor hit my pond?
« Reply #14 on: 31/12/2010 15:07:11 »
... or possibly methane gas from rotting vegetation.

If that is the explanation put that cigarette out  :) ..
 

Offline meteorman81

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Did a meteor hit my pond?
« Reply #15 on: 31/12/2010 15:10:37 »
We live outside Albany NY.  12/13-12-29 we had one day above freezing, 12/18 33degrees.
I was on the pond 12/25 shoveling snow for a skating area. I walked over the area that now has the hole.  I wasn't didnt see any thin spots or anomolies in the ice.  I believe the pond is 8-10 feet deep at the hole. The photo with the stick in the hole is me checking to see that the hole went straight through the ice.  I had to break a thin layer of ice that had formed over the hole in order to get the stick through.  I do see dark/black ice and light/white ice lines radiating from the hole in the picture.  
I have not yet, but will check the temperature at the hole and at another random spot in the ice.  I will also verify the ice thickness at the outer ring and at a random spot in the center.  Thanks for the scientific approach/guidance on this query!!!
Just so everyone out there realizes, I am not claiming that a meteorite hit this pond.  It is my hypothesis at this time because the evidence leads me to that conclusion.  I am seeking a plausible explanation.
 

Offline meteorman81

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Did a meteor hit my pond?
« Reply #16 on: 31/12/2010 20:39:20 »
This morning I went back out on the ice and drilled a hole in the center of the pond, about 20' from the hole to verify the thickness.  It was 6" thick at the very center about 12' deep water.  i also broke away the ice that had formed over the top of the hole.  The thickness of ice at the hole is also 6" and the sides of the hole are perpendicular to the surface of the ice.  I also tied a brick to some twine and measured the depth and temperature of the water at the pond bottom through the hole, 6'6" deep (I was wrong in my initial estimate of depth) and the water temp was 40 degrees.  The temp of the water just below the 6" of ice was 37 degrees.  I also measured the diameter (although not perfectly round) and it averaged 14".   
 

Offline syhprum

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Did a meteor hit my pond?
« Reply #17 on: 31/12/2010 23:04:24 »
Converting to Centigrade the most dense water at the bottom should be 4C (39.2F)so it appears that there is a small amount of local heating but not much and it might be due to experimental error, have you checked the bottom temperature at other parts of the pool?.
One would expect the water to be colder nearer the ice as you found out.
As you found a small peak beneath the hole this might be causing warmer water to rise as the colder water sinks to the deeper parts
 

Offline RD

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Did a meteor hit my pond?
« Reply #18 on: 31/12/2010 23:15:15 »
As you found a small peak beneath the hole this might be causing warmer water to rise as the colder water sinks to the deeper parts

But

The thickness of ice at the hole is also 6" and the sides of the hole are perpendicular to the surface of the ice.

[and the original hole is straight edged]

Consistent with it being sawn rather than being melted by a rising plume of warmer water.
« Last Edit: 31/12/2010 23:18:29 by RD »
 

Offline CliffordK

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Did a meteor hit my pond?
« Reply #19 on: 31/12/2010 23:44:40 »
What is the normal water source/drainage for your pond?
 

Offline meteorman81

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Did a meteor hit my pond?
« Reply #20 on: 03/01/2011 02:36:05 »
We dont know what provides the water source.  there are no streams running into it and no known springs.  We always said that it was just ground water and tends to fluctuate regularly with dry, wet climates.  There is a 12" drain pipe that runs vertically then turns and runs approximately 100 yards to a second, larger pond.
 

Offline CliffordK

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Did a meteor hit my pond?
« Reply #21 on: 03/01/2011 06:12:26 »
I don't have any comparison.
And, we don't have any place to go ice fishing around here.

I'm a bit surprised at the temperatures of 37F at the surface, and 40F at the bottom.

I would have anticipated that the temperature just below the ice would have been 32F to perhaps 34F (0C to +1C).

I would think that 37F (+2 to +3C) would be enough to melt the ice at the surface.

Steel pipe at the outlet?

Perhaps there is a spring, or the end of "drainage tile" under the middle of the pond.  Or some Kryptonite?

I am a little puzzled about how you describe such a vertical hole. 

If the weather has been consistent with refreezing, the freezing or lack thereof would give you more indication of what is happening.

 

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Did a meteor hit my pond?
« Reply #21 on: 03/01/2011 06:12:26 »

 

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