Friday, January 05, 2007

A meteorite crashes the party

Freehold Township, New Jersey, 50 miles south of New York City, is not the place for big science stories. Not until this week, when a celestial visitor ripped through the roof of a two-story house and embedded itself in a wall of the upper floor. Puzzled homeowners found a metallic rock weighing 377 grams and about the size of a lopsided golf ball. Geologists from Rutgers University, with the help of an independent metallurgist, identified the visitor as a meteorite. The sample was unusually iron-rich, indicating a possible origin in the interior of an asteroid smashed by a cosmic collision. Legally, it's the property of the unnamed family whose property it landed in. Their plans for it are unknown. This is, after all, a situation only a few homeowners in recorded history have had to deal with.

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