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Tuesday, July 31, 2001

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Coloured rain had a meteoric origin

By Our Special Correspondent

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, JULY 30. The mystery of the coloured rain in Kerala has been unravelled. It was caused by fine dust from a meteorite that exploded above Changanassery in Kottayam district.

According to a preliminary hypothesis released by the Centre for Earth Science Studies here, a meteor travelled from west to the east and exploded towards the east of Madhumoola junction at Changanassery around 5.30 a.m. on July 25. The burning dust threw fine dust into the atmosphere which came down as red rain. The total dust thrown out is estimated to weigh around 1,000 kilogrammes.

The Director of the Centre, Dr. M. Baba, said the hypothesis was based on physical analysis of the sediments found in the rain water obtained from Changanassery and information from the residents. The chemical analysis, which would throw more light, is in progress.

He said the scientists of the Centre, Dr. S. Sampath and Dr. V. Sasi Kumar, had collected samples of the rain water and done a survey to obtain information from the residents on the sequence of events.

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