A metal rock that smashed through the roof of a residential home in Hopewell Township, New Jersey earlier this week was actually a meteorite — some 4.6 billion years old, scientists confirmed Thursday (May 11).
“It was obvious as soon as I saw it that the meteorite in the class was called a stony chondrite,” said Nathan Magee, chair of the physics department at The College of New Jersey (TCNJ), when his office was contacted by Hopewell Township police. Soon The rock was discovered on Monday (May 8), told Space.com.
Chondrites are Ancient 85% are rocks Meteorites found on earth. Most chondrites discovered to date have been found in Antarctica; Accidents rarely occur in populated areas.
Related: What are meteorites??
A notable exception is the New Jersey rock, which is 6 inches long and 4 inches wide (15 x 10 centimeters). It crashed into a Hopewell Township home, gouging the floorboards, punching two holes in the roof and was still hot when Susie Cobb found it in her father’s bedroom around noon Monday.
“I look up at the ceiling and there are these two holes, and I’m like, ‘What in the world happened here?’ Cobb said. 6 ABC’s Trish Hartman (opens in new tab).
Once emergency responders removed any harmful radioactive residue from Cobb, his family and their home, Cobb surrendered. Space rock To the nearest college for further study.
At TCNJ, Magee’s team consulted Jerry Delaney, a retired meteorologist who worked in the meteorite collection at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. The team confirmed that the space rock is about 4.56 billion years old, meaning it has been around since the beginning. Our solar system and reflects the remaining fragments from its creation.
The 2.2-pound (0.9 kilogram) meteorite, which can be named Titusville, N.J. — the mailing address closest to its landing site — “is in excellent condition, and the smallest number of such chondrites known to science,” Maki said in a Report Thursday.
The upper layer of the meteorite is a dark crust, a few millimeters thick, that burns away. Earth’s atmosphere. Using a hand lens designed to look closely at rocks, they found the minerals meroite to be blue and gray, with small amounts of other metals mixed in, Magee told Space.com.
Rock, rock … who’s there?🪨 TCNJ physics professor Nate Magee confirmed today that the object that recently crashed into a house not far from campus was, in fact, from outer space. Read more from @AP: https://t.co/e2zbpQyEfk@tcnjscience #tcnj #tcnjieverywhere pic.twitter.com/FMXH5YtEeUMay 11, 2023
The team examined the structure and composition of the rock by placing it inside the large chamber of a scanning electron microscope. Based on initial estimates, the meteorite is a chondrite of the LL-6 class, which has less iron than other members of its family and is at least 30 to 40% denser than more common rocks on Earth, such as slate or granite.
“So it was clear that it was not an Earth rock,” Magee told Space.com.
Before the space rock breaks through the Earth’s atmosphere, it is exposed to extreme heat in space, greatly altering its structure and composition, making it difficult to easily distinguish the individual grains or chondrules that make up the meteorite. Scientists shared Thursday update (opens in new tab).