Death from above? Fireball may have destroyed ancient Syrian village

A very interesting finding to be sure. It should not be too surprising that such events have occurred sporadically over the age of the earth. Watching the breakup of Shoemaker–Levy 9 at Jupiter provided some serious evidence that such things really do occur. And of course there are the crater-trains on the moon, etc. that indicate many objects likely break up before impacting the larger bodies which have attracted them and whose gravity likely caused the breakups prior to impact or detonation.

Just one correction needs to be made on their probability estimates.

The closing quote of the authors from the article:

"The largest cometary debris clusters are proposed to be capable of causing thousands of airbursts within a span of minutes across one entire hemisphere of Earth," the authors wrote. "An encounter with such a million-km-wide debris cluster would be thousands of times more probable than a collision with a 100-km-wide comet or a 10-km-wide asteroid."

end quote

Actually, there seems no probability involved regarding alternative causes noted in the above encounters. It is an absolute certainty that "a collision with a 100-km-wide comet or a 10-km-wide asteroid" could not be involved since such a massive object hitting earth would have wiped out not only the village, but everybody on earth, leaving no one to speculate on the nature of the event 13,000 years later.

After all, the K/Pg extinction which wiped out ALL the dinosaurs was caused by the impact of an object estimated at 10-15 km in diameter. It has been estimated that an impactor of 1-2 km in diameter could be large enough to wipe out all humans on the surface. It is a sure bet that one ten times this size would more than adequately do the job.


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