A megacryometeor is a very large chunk of ice which, despite sharing many textural, hydro-chemical, and isotopic features detected in large hailstones, is formed under unusual atmospheric conditions which clearly differ from those of the cumulonimbus cloud scenario (i.e. clear-sky conditions). They are sometimes called huge hailstones, but do not need to form under thunderstorm conditions. Jesús Martínez-Frías, a planetary geologist and astrobiologist at Institute of Geosciences (Spanish: Instituto de Geociencias, IGEO) in the Spanish National Research Council (Spanish: Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, CSIC) in Madrid, pioneered research into megacryometeors in January 2000 after ice chunks weighing up to 6.6 pounds (3.0 kg) rained on Spain out of cloudless skies for ten days.
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