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More about the Meteorite!

by Deborah Howlett

When she first saw the hole in the roof of her dad’s bedroom and a four-pound black chunk on the floor, Suzy Kop was more than a little puzzled.

“My first thought was that it was something an animal dropped through the roof or something from an airplane,” Kop said. “I picked it up. It was warm.”

That’s when it dawned on Kop that the chunk of rock that crashed through the roof of her father’s house in Titusville on Monday morning may be a meteorite.

Kop called emergency responders. The fire department was the first to arrive and made sure that house was structurally safe. Then a hazmat crew and police officer assessed the situation and insured no one was injured in the incident. The object was removed to an undisclosed location, according to Hopewell Township police, and is being examined and tested to determine whether it is a meteorite.

“A metallic object believed to be a meteorite struck the roof a residence located on Old Washington Crossing Pennington Road,” according to the official statement from the police. “HTPD has contacted several other agencies for assistance in positively identifying the object and safeguarding the residents and the object.”

“The object, which is described as approximately 4” x 6” is oblong in shape and appears metallic…. This may be related to a current Meteor shower called the Eta Aquariids,” police said.

The Eta Aquariids meteor shower has been active since April 15 and likely will continue through May 27. It was expected to peak May 5-6, according to the website space.com The meteor shower consists of particles that separated from Halley’s Comet, first documented in 390 BCE, according to Bill Cooke, the lead for the Meteoroid Environment Office at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. 

“The maximum visibility for shooting stars [meteor showers] in a clear sky will be about 50 per hour,” according to the American Meteor Society. The fireballs speed across the sky at about 41 miles per second (about 147,600 miles per hour).

A meteorite hitting a house is a rare occurrence, according to most experts.

News of the possible meteorite strike drew curious neighbors, onlookers, and meteorite aficionados to the tidy little house not far from Washington Crossing State Park.

In the feature photo, after traveling through the roof and the bedroom ceiling, the meteorite caused damage to the floor.

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MercerMe is the only hyperlocal, independent, online news outlet serving Hopewell Valley in Mercer County, New Jersey.

Contact us: [email protected] 

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