Meteorite Crashes Into House: Baseball-Sized Rock Strikes Connecticut Home

Thursday, 25 Apr 2013 08:59 AM

By Alexandra Ward

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Experts have confirmed that the object that crashed into a Connecticut house last week was in fact a meteorite.

Larry Beck, of Wolcott, called police Saturday morning and told them a baseball-sized rock had come crashing through the ceiling the night before, causing damage to his roof and copper piping.

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"It sounded like a gunshot but it was louder bang. We looked up and saw the ceiling coming down and broke away the sheet rock in the dining room," Beck told FOX19.com. "All the sheet rock had broken apart and it was on the floor."

Police initially believed the rock was a piece of broken airport runway concrete that had dropped from an aircraft's landing gear — Bradley International Airport is nearby.

"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 FOX19.com.

But Beck contacted a local meteorologist who immediately thought the rock was a meteorite, especially because there had been a meteor shower Friday night. On Tuesday, officials at the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History confirmed that the rock-like object was a Chondrite (or non-metallic) meteorite, according to Stefan Nicolescu, the collections manager for the Mineralogy Division at the museum.

Nicolescu said Friday's shower was part of the Lyrids meteor shower, which happens every year between April 16 and April 26, when Earth crosses the orbit of comet Thatcher.

Meteors are streaks of light left by small particles as they enter the earth's atmosphere, whereas meteorites are objects that actually make it through the atmosphere and hit the ground, according to the Yale Peabody Museum.

Hundreds of meteorites fall to earth each year, but only five to 10 are immediately recovered, according to the Peabody website.

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