Rare meteorite hit home in New Jersey, experts confirm after examining ‘exciting’ discovery

Experts from the College of New Jersey confirmed Thursday that the object that smashed through the roof of a home in the town of Hopewell earlier this week was a meteor from outer space.

Experts said the object, which had a diameter of 6 inches by 4 inches, was a rare stony meteorite. They reached the conclusion after visual inspection, density measurements, scanning electron microscopy images and input from Jerry Delaney, a retired meteorite expert from Rutgers University and the American Museum of Natural History.

“We are excited to be able to confirm that the object is a real chondrite meteorite, in excellent condition, and one of very few famous chondrite falls known to science,” said Nathan Magee, president of the College of New Jersey. physics department.

It’s likely called the “Titusville, NJ” meteorite, experts said, based on the part of Hopewell where it was discovered.

Susie Cobb, the owner of the home on Old Pennington Road, Washington, said she called the non-emergency number of the Hopewell Police Department after discovering the object in her father’s bedroom.

The meteorite crashed through the roof of a home on Old Washington Crossing Pennington Road in Hopewell Township on Monday, May 8, 2023.

She met with faculty members of the college on Wednesday to hand over the meteorite stone for further inspection.

The best estimate of when the meteor will hit is 12:14 p.m. Monday, according to a statement from the college. Cobb said the meteorite was still warm to the touch when she discovered it around 12:30 p.m.

“It’s all very unusual,” Cobb said.

The meteorite weighs about two pounds, according to college faculty. Its density, they said, is in the “usual range” for chondrite meteorites and much greater than that of most rocks on Earth.

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“Having the opportunity to examine the meteorite yesterday was a rare and exciting opportunity for me, as well as for a group of physics students and professors at TCNJ,” Magee said.

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Camille Furst can be reached at [email protected].

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