While the news has been buzzing about a meteorite causing a nearly 40-foot crater outside the international airport in Managua, Nicaragua, over the weekend, scientists have begun to express some skepticism.
"It has been suggested that a meteorite may have caused this crater; however, the lack of fireball reports from the surrounding populated area seems to suggest some other cause," William Cooke, wrote in a blog post Monday for NASA. "The skies were partially clear, and an object capable of producing a crater this large would have also generated a very bright fireball (brighter than the Full Moon) that should have been seen over a wide area."
While a meteorite causing the crater cannot be dismissed as a possibility, Cooke wrote again that "information available at this time suggests that some other cause is responsible for its creation."
Meteor expert Peter Jenniskens with the SETI Institute told Space.com that he would expect some sort of debris from the space rock if it was the cause of the crater as well.
According to the Associated Press, the Nicaraguan government has formed a committee to study what could have caused the crater, and it concluded that it was a meteorite that did not leave behind debris. The committee is still studying the event.
Watch this report from the Weather Channel about the crater:
Front page image via Nicaraguan Army via Twitter.