Meteorite hunters: Scientists searching for the remains of the huge space rock off the coast of Washington

Image file photo – (iStock/solarseven)

(James Thew)

A team of scientists is the scanning of the Pacific Ocean depths to find fragments of a large meteor.

Research vessel E/V Nautilus will be tried to the remains of a meteor that flashed across the skies of the Pacific Northwest on March 7, 2018 before hitting the ocean. The meteor was visible in parts of the State of Washington, Oregon and British Columbia, according to the American Meteor Society.

NASA Cosmic Dust Curator Dr. Marc Fries told The Seattle Times that the meteor was about the size of a golf cart. Approximately 2 tons of meteorite fragments are now considered to be on the seabed, according to the Fries, which says that the “meteorite fall” is the largest he has seen in 21 years of the radar data.


The hurtling space rock hit the ocean in the NOAA’s Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary, about 15.5 miles off the Washington coast.

The meteor impact zone (ocean exploration Trust/Information courtesy of Dr. Marc Fries, NASA)

The Ocean Exploration Trust is working with experts from the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary, NASA, and the University of Washington found on the site of the meteorite fall. E/V Nautilus will be a map of an area of approximately 0.4 square kilometers. Submarine drones will be used to search the area and recover all of the found fragments. The search is available to view online between 12 pm ET and 7 pm ET.

If pieces of the space rock have been retrieved from the seabed, it will be the first known recovery of a meteorite from the ocean, the Ocean Exploration Trust says. “If you have found meteorite fragments will be sent to the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D. C. and became part of their research and collections,” it added, in a statement.


In January, a meteor made headlines when it flashed through the air in Michigan. The burning fireball sent meteorite hunters scrambling to find fragments of the rare space rock.

.@Astromaterials scientist Dr. Marc Fries is on @EVNautilus search of meteorite fragments from the WASHINGTON state coast after a meteorite fall on 3/7/18 was recorded at the NOAA weather radar images. Watch LIVE STREAM VIDEO of the seabed to search for:

— NASA Astromaterials (@Astromaterials) July 2, 2018

In 2013, a meteorite with a weight of 11,000 tons, exploded over Chelyabinsk, Russia, the largest object to hit Earth in more than a centuy.

In 2016, NASA opened a new office to track asteroids and comets that come too close to the Earth, known as the Planetary Defense coordination office (PDCO). The PDCO will formalize the agency’s existing programs for detecting and tracking of neart-earth objects (NEOs), NASA has been studied since the 1970s.

NASA has previously said there are more than 18,300 included NEOs and a little more than 8,000 of them are more than 100 meters or larger, a format that is generally accepted, that a “impact of the event.”

The government agency notes that large rocky objects in orbit around the Sun are known as asteroids or minor planets, while the smaller particles are known as meteoroids. When a meteor enters the Earth’s atmosphere, it is known as a meteor. The pieces of debris recovered from meteors are meteorites called.


In addition to her scientific research, E/V Nautilus has also captured beautiful photos of shipwrecks. Last year, one of the ship underwater drones showed the wreckage of the second world War-era submarine USS Bugara in remarkable detail.

In 2016, scientists used undersea robots from the E/V Nautilus capture incredible photos of the light aircraft carrier USS Independence, which was intentionally sunk off California in 1951.

Fox News’ Chris Ciaccia, contributed to this story. Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers

Follow us

Don't be shy, get in touch. We love meeting interesting people and making new friends.

Most popular