There Was a Hole in Her Roof, a Still-Warm Rock on the Floor

NJ home may have been struck by a meteorite
By Steve Huff,  Newser Staff
Posted May 10, 2023 11:45 AM CDT
There Was a Hole in Her Roof, a Still-Warm Rock on the Floor
This image provided by Hopewell Township Police Department shows a metallic object believed to be a meteorite on a hardwood floor at a residence in Hopewell Township, N.J.   (Hopewell Township Police Department via AP)

It's not every day that meteorites come crashing through the roof, but that appears to have been the case at a residence in Hopewell Township, NJ. An oblong object measuring about 4 inches by 6 inches tore into the home around 1pm Monday, reports CBS Philadelphia interviewed resident Suzy Kop about the incident: It "came through here, hit the floor here because that's completely damaged, it ricocheted up to this part of the ceiling and then finally rested on the floor there."

Kop says no one was home when it happened and when she found what she thought was a rock it was warm to the touch. Once EMS arrived to assess what happened, they scanned the residents to make sure there was no exposure to radiation. In a brief news release, Hopewell Township police said the department had "contacted several other agencies for assistance in positively identifying the object." The same release went on to say that the meteorite "may be related to a current Meteor shower called the Eta Aquariids," and that they were still investigating.

Franklin Institute chief astronomer Derick Pitts told CBS that the meteorite could be up to 5 billion years old, a relic from the formation of the solar system. "It's been running around in space all that time," he said, "and now it's come to Earth and fell in their laps. For it to actually strike a house, for people to be able to pick up, that's really unusual and has happened very few times in history." While Pitts is correct such strikes are rare, they aren't unprecedented: A 2015 article in Wired recounted a somewhat destructive meteorite smashing through the roof of a home in Uruguay in September of that year, as well as a bizarre 1954 Alabama incident in which a woman was hit by a meteorite that punched a hole in her roof. (Read about her experience here.)

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