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Scientists confirm meteorite struck New Jersey home

Scientists have confirmed that a rock that fell through the roof of a New Jersey home is a 4.5-billion-year-old meteorite.
Scientists confirm meteorite struck New Jersey home
Posted at 10:38 AM, May 12, 2023

Earlier this week, police in New Jersey reported that an object suspected to be a meteorite crashed through the ceiling of a home, landing on a hardwood floor in the kitchen. 

After analysis by researchers in New Jersey, it has been determined to be an actual meteorite. The College of New Jersey joined other researchers in making the determination. 

“Getting the chance to examine the meteorite (Wednesday) was a rare and thrilling opportunity for me, as well as for a group of physics students and professors at TCNJ,” Nathan Magee, chair of the school’s physics department, told the Associated Press. “We are excited to be able to confirm that the object is a true chondrite meteorite, in excellent condition, and one of a very small number of similar witnessed chondrite falls known to science.”

According to the Natural History Museum in the U.K., these types of meteorites are up to about 4.5 billion years old and are leftovers from the formation of the Solar System. The Natural History Museum said these rocks are made out of droplets of silicate minerals mixed with small grains of sulphides and iron-nickel metal.

Officials said the oblong object was about four inches by six inches. It penetrated the home’s roof and ceiling before landing on a hardwood floor. 

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Although the home was occupied at the time, no one was injured. 

The American Meteor Society received a report of a fireball over the skies of Union, New Jersey, about 40 miles south of Hopewell Township, Monday afternoon. It has not been confirmed if the fireball and meteor are connected. 

Hopewell Township Police noted that the meteor may have been connected to the Eta Aquariids meteor shower. The meteor shower peaked last week but is expected to continue for at least the next week. 

The meteor shower is caused by leftover bits from Halley's comet hitting Earth’s atmosphere. Halley's Comet was last seen by casual observers in 1986. The comet is expected to reenter the solar system in 2061, NASA said. 

Most of the time, the meteors from meteor shows burn up before reaching the ground. NASA says in the case of meteorites making it to the surface, less than 5% of the original object’s mass would make it.

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