A possible meteorite crashed into a bedroom of a New Jersey home, puncturing a hole into the roof and leaving residents rattled, though they were not home at the time.
The metallic object in the Monday incident looks like a shiny rock, about 4in by 6in, police in Hopewell Township said.
The rock appeared to crash through the house, hit a hardwood floor then “ricochet up” to the ceiling, where it created another hole before falling back to the ground.
Suzy Kop said the object fell through the roof of her father’s bedroom around 1pm.
“I did touch the thing because it was a random rock, and it was warm,” Kop told a local CBS-affiliate KYW-TV, adding that emergency responders checked on those who came into contact with the possible meteor.
“They were afraid that because it fell from the sky, was it radioactive? Could we have a type of residue on us? So they scanned us and everything came back clear.”
Police said they contacted several other agencies to help confirm the object is a meteorite. The College of New Jersey will work to determine whether the object is from Earth or space.
In a Facebook post, the town encouraged residents to check their yards for possible fragments.
The rock could be a fragment from the Eta Aquarid meteor shower, made up of pieces from the famous Halley’s Comet, which can be seen from earth every 75 years.
About 500 meteorites hit Earth each year, but fewer than 10 are recovered as most fall into the ocean or hit remote areas, according to the Planetary Science Institute, making appearances in urban settings rare opportunities for scientists to research them. Due to the velocity of meteorites falling through Earth’s atmosphere, many break into fragments that are even harder to find.
In October 2021, a meteorite crashed into a home in British Columbia, Canada, barely missing a sleeping woman.
Kop said she was grateful no one was home when the object hit her father’s home.
“I thank God that my father was not here, no one was here, we weren’t hurt or anything,” she said.