April 25, 2013
Meteorite Smashes Through Roof Of Connecticut Resident
Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
According to local news reports, officials at Yale Peabody Museum confirmed that a meteorite struck a private residence in Wolcott, Connecticut last week.
Police in the area received a call from local resident Larry Beck just before 10:30 a.m. Saturday morning, who said a baseball-sized rock crashed through the ceiling in his kitchen, local CBS affiliate WFSB reported.
"It sounded like a gunshot but it was a louder bang," Beck told WFSB. "We looked up and saw the ceiling coming down and broke away the sheet rock in the dining room."
He had heard the rock crash through his home on Friday night but assumed a joint or rafter in his house had been broken. It wasn't until Saturday morning when he went up to his attic that he saw the damage that the space rock caused.
"For this to crash through asphalt shingles, the roof, smash copper pipe, crack a ceiling, it was moving very quickly," Wolcott Police Chief Edward Stephens told WFSB.
Beck told NBC Connecticut that all the sheet rock had broken apart and was on the floor in his kitchen. "As I'm crawling across, I say 'honey, I can see some daylight coming through the roof," he added.
Stefan Nicolescu, the collections manager for the Mineralogy Division at the Yale Peabody Museum, was able to confirm on Tuesday that the rock was indeed a meteorite.
Last October, a meteorite struck the home of a San Francisco resident after blazing through the sky. Peter Jenniskens, a leading meteor hunter at the Seti Institute in Mountain View, said they could use the meteorite that struck Lisa Webber's home last year to trace it back to its origins in the asteroid belt.
A huge meteorite exploded over Russia's Ural Mountains on February 15 this year, causing an international media sensation. This space rock was so large that the sonic boom from its explosion broke windows and injured citizens in the area. Scientists believe this 7,000 to 10,000 metric ton meteorite originated from the Apollo asteroids.
“It certainly looks like it was a member of the Apollo class of asteroids,” Dr. Stephen Lowry, from the University of Kent, told BBC News. “Its elliptical, low inclination orbit, indicates a solar system origin, most likely from the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.”
Researchers were able to use amateur video footage to build an accurate trajectory of the asteroid. They said they used six different properties of its trajectory through the atmosphere to recreate the rock's original orbit.