Possible meteorite that crashed into Hopewell home headed to TCNJ
A possible meteorite that crashed into a Hopewell Township home, leaving a hole in the roof, is now headed to researchers at the College of New Jersey.
Dr. Nate Magee, of TCNJ’s physics department says that it is rare for a meteorite to strike a home.
“You know, 99.9% of the meteorites that we have, have been found on the ground, often in places where there’s lots of ice, so in Antarctica or on large is sheets,” he says.
Magee says that he didn’t believe the call at first.
“We thought it was a joke when the Hopewell police called our office yesterday,” he says.
Magee says that the homeowners should be bringing the object to campus over the next day or so. He says his team will measure, weigh and analyze what it is made of.
“There have been a few instances of space junk – things that are in orbit…falling out of orbit. I think from that it looks like, it doesn’t look like that,” he says.
Once researchers here at TCNJ get their hands on the possible meteorite, they hope they’ll be able to better understand where it came from, how fast it was going, and how old it could be.
“A similar sized object, for instance like a really big hailstone, might fall at a velocity of 150 mph. But even that would bounce off the roof. It wouldn’t go through a roof,” Magee says.
The object crashed into the Hopewell home Monday afternoon, leaving a hole in the roof and second-story ceiling. The homeowners say the object bounced and was warm to the touch. No one was hurt.
Meteorite landing 'not completely unheard of' but is rare, expert says
Kevin Conod, a planetarium astronomer and educator from the County College of Morris, spoke with News 12's Scott Sincoff to provide more context on just how rare this instance is.
Conod says a meteorite landing is “not completely unheard of” but is pretty rare. He says there are no particular health effects to be concerned about since the meteorites are not radioactive. He says the last meteorite recovered from New Jersey was in 1829.