While the 12th of June started as a normal day for German teenager, Gerrit Blank, it ended up being one of the most exciting days of his life - For on this day, the 14-year was struck by a meteorite that came hurtling down from Space at speeds exceeding 30,000mph.
What's even more amazing is that he survived the strike, (beating odds of one in a million), with just a three-inch scar on his hand. After striking him, the tiny meteorite continued its journey, carving a foot-wide crater in the the ground, before it finally came to a halt.
Gerrit says that he was walking to school when he saw a 'ball of light', coming at him at an alarming speed. The next thing he felt was a tremendous pain on his hand and then heard a noise so loud, that it rang in his ears for several hours. Scientists who have examined the pea-sized rock have confirmed that it is indeed a meteorite, and are trying to figure out its origins.
Meteorites are pieces of the solar system, most dating as far back as 4.55 billion years. They start their lives as meteoroids. As they hit the earth's surface, the pressure causes them to heat and light up, forming a fireball, at which stage they are known as 'meteorites' or 'shooting stars'. Most of them evaporate into the atmosphere and never hit the Earth. Five of the six meteorites that do hit the Earth end up in the oceans. Therefore, the chances getting struck by one are really small - about one in 10 million - another incredible odd, 14-year old Gerrit Blank beat on this fine June day!