A US man and his wife got quite a surprise Friday night, when they heard a loud bang coming from the roof of his house in Wolcott, Connecticut. Initially, Larry Beck thought a rafter had broken, especially since part of his dining room ceiling had collapsed.
A closer examination of his attic the following day, however, reavelaed a baseball-sized rock which has now been identified as a meteorite. The 4″ diameter piece of space rock had a blackened fusion crust, caused by extreme heating in Earth’s atmosphere, and was travelling fast enough to crash through the house’s asphalt shingles, roof, and crack a copper pipe before smashing part of his ceiling.
Originally, the Wolcott Police Department were called in to investigate the incident, who then theorized the rock was possibly a broken piece of airport runway concrete before Larry Beck’s friend and weather expert John Bagioni took a look and offered a different explanation. As he suggested in an email to Wolcott Police; the rock “appears to be a classic example of what is called a Chondrite meteorite; showing a great fusion crust because of extreme heating upon entering the atmosphere.”
That fact has now been confirmed and it is now believed the meteorite incident may be connected to the Lyrid meteor shower which takes place around this time each year. Commenting on the incident, weather expert John Bagioni said:”For an astronomer, I’m a meteorologist but I know a fair amount of astronomy, this is like winning the lottery.”
This fact was also confirmed by Yale University astronomer Debra Fischer, who explained: “It is quite common for this size meteorite to fall through the Earth’s atmosphere, but most of the Earth is uninhabited, so it is less common to hit someone’s house.”
And how much is the meteorite worth? Well, whereas rare specimens, such as pieces of the planet Mars and our moon, can fetch as much as $1,000 per gram, or Iron meteorites around $1 to $30 per gram, at the low end of the scale are stony (non-metallic) meteorites called chondrites, which fetch around $0.50 to $1.00 per gram.
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