A meteorite crashed down in Managua, Nicaragua, late Saturday night, causing a loud explosion and leaving a crater 39 feet (12 meters) across, government officials said, according to The Associated Press. No damage or injuries were reported.
AP quoted government spokeswoman Rosario Murillo as saying they’ve determined it was a “relatively small” meteorite that “appears to have come off an asteroid that was passing close to Earth.”
NASA hasn’t confirmed a link between the meteorite and the asteroid. The newly discovered asteroid, called 2014 RC, was expected to pass safely above the Earth on Sunday, NASA said, at a distance of about 25,000 miles (40,000 kilometers) — just one-tenth the distance from the center of Earth to the moon. It was estimated to be 60 feet (18 meters) long.
Local media reported that scientists are trying to find remains of the meteorite and Nicaragua is asking the United States to help investigate the event, said CNN.
“All the evidence that we’ve confirmed on-site corresponds exactly with a meteorite,” Jose Millan with the Nicaraguan Institute of Earth Studies was quoted as saying on the Today Nicaragua website.
The Today Nicaragua site reported the crater was found after a loud blast about 11:05 p.m. on Saturday. The Nicaragua Dispatch said the hole is in the woods near Managua’s Sandino International Airport and about 1,000 feet (300 meters) from the Camino Real Hotel.