January 9, 2013, 10:07 pm The Island
By Maheesha Mudugamuwa
An Astrobiologist of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) of America, Prof. Richard B. Hoover, has volunteered to conduct experiments regarding the coloured rains experienced in several parts of the country recently.
Medical Research Institute (MRI) Director General Dr. Anil Samaranayaka yesterday told The Island that Prof. Richard B. Hoover had informed Prof. Chandra Wickramasinghe in writing of his wiliness to conduct the experimental work.
Some parts of the country witnessed spells of coloured rain over the past weeks, prompting researchers to launch a formal investigation.
According to reports, red rain was reported on November 14 from the Sevenagala area and on November 15 from the Moneragala and Manampitiya areas. Blue rain had fallen at Saliypura in Anuradhapura recently.
Dr. Samaranayaka said that the MRI had received samples of rainwater collected from the areas where the red rain was reported and the MRI expected samples of blue rain to reach the institute shortly.
The tests on water samples of the Red, Yellow and Green coloured rain waters had already been conducted and The MRI had decided to conduct medical tests regarding the Blue rains as well, Dr. Samaranayaka said.
Responding to a query Dr. Samaranayaka said that the scientists would not be able to say anything until the analysis was completed.
Meanwhile, the tests on samples of red and yellow rains and parts of meteorites that fell in several areas of the country recently are being conducted in the Harvard and Buckinghamshire Universities in the US and England.
Coloured rain was reported from some other parts of the world in the past. Similar rains were reported from Kerala, India in 2001 and most recently in June 2012. According to the recently released reports the rainwater turned red possibly due to spores of algae or similar organism.
Experts said the most likely reason was the presence of dust in the atmosphere which colours the water. They said yellow rain could be due to sand or the presence of pollen in the air and it was the reason given for coloured rain in Afghanistan a few years ago.