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Warm object that crashed into New Jersey bedroom was a 4.5 billion-year-old meteorite "in excellent condition," experts confirm

Experts confirm meteorite made landfall in New Jersey home
Experts confirm meteorite made landfall in New Jersey home 00:24

The warm object that crashed through a bedroom roof in New Jersey was indeed a meteorite, experts confirmed Thursday. 

Nate Magee, a physics professor at The College of New Jersey, said Thursday that the object that recently crash-landed in a Hopewell home was a 2.2-pound stony chondrite meteorite that was approximately 4.56 billion years old. 

The meteorite, which local officials described as being about four inches by six inches, struck the roof of a ranch-style home on Monday. The oblong object went through the roof and ceiling of the home before hitting the hardwood floor, leaving the surface damaged and cracked. Suzy Kop, a resident of the home, told CBS Philadelphia that the meteorite had entered her father's bedroom but said no one had been injured. 

The College of New Jersey said that Magee used visual examination, density measurements, scanning electron microscope images and examination and input from Jerry Delaney, a retired meteorite expert affiliated with the American Museum of Natural History and New Jersey's Rutgers University. 

Rock, rock ... who's there? TCNJ physics professor Nate Magee confirmed today that the object that recently...

Posted by The College of New Jersey on Thursday, May 11, 2023

The college said in a Facebook statement that the meteorite is likely type LL-6, so it is lower in iron than most chondrite meteorites, and has been "highly metamorphosed" by intense heat before entering the Earth's atmosphere. 

"Getting the chance to examine the meteorite yesterday was a rare and thrilling opportunity for me, as well as for a group of physics students and professors at TCNJ," said Magee. "We are excited to be able to confirm that the object is a true chondrite meteorite, in excellent condition, and one of a very small number of similar witnessed chondrite falls known to science."

Chondrite meteorites are stony and are formed when dust and grains came together in the early solar system. Hundreds of meteorites fall to Earth each year, according to the Planetary Science Institute, but few are found because they often land in remote areas or in the ocean, or are not seen falling and are not found. According to CBS Philadelphia, only about 1,100 meteorites of this kind have been found and identified by scientists.  

The college said that the meteorite will be named based on the nearest postal address and will likely be officially known as the "Titusville, NJ" meteorite.  

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