A grapefruit-sized metallic object fell from the sky, straight through the roof of a New Jersey home, and crashed into the floor of the bedroom on Monday, according to local reports.
Police who responded to the incident in Hopewell, New Jersey, believe the falling object may be a meteorite, possibly from the Eta Aquarids meteor shower, which peaked this weekend.
Nobody was home when the likely meteorite shot into the house, punching a hole in the roof and appearing to dent the floor, at about 1:15 p.m. local time, according to police.
“We are thinking it’s a meteorite, came through here, hit the floor here because that’s completely damaged, it ricocheted up to this part of the ceiling and then finally coming down and resting just on the floor there,” Suzy Kop, who said the object fell into her father’s bedroom, told CBS News Philadelphia.
“I touched the object because it felt warm and I thought it might be a rock.
After a local fire station’s hazardous materials team determined that the object wasn’t dangerous, police claim they sought out an astrophysicist from the College of New Jersey to conduct a further investigation.
“I have seen quite a few interesting and strange happenings in my career, but I would never have thought a meteorite would be one of them,” James Rosso, Chief of the Hopewell Township Police Department, told Insider in an email.
According to local reporter Alex Zdan, the rock was estimated to weigh about 4 pounds.
Shooting stars — the streaks of bright light that flash across the sky during meteor showers — come from small space rocks entering our atmosphere at high speeds, heating to extreme temperatures from the friction between the rock’s surface and our planet’s air particles, and burning up.
Not every meteor burns up completely. Sometimes a chunk survives the fall and hits the ground. That’s called a meteorite.
It’s rare for these falling space rocks to hit buildings or people.
“It’s been running around in space all that time and now it’s come to Earth and it fell right into their laps,” Derrick Pitts, the chief astronomer at the Franklin Institute, told CBS News Philadelphia. “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.”
He added that this falling object could be as old as the solar system: 4 to 5 billion years old.
According to CBS, the family was considering buying a lottery ticket, since they just won the space lottery.
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