Friday 26 April 2013

Connecticut house struck by meteorite.

Larry Beck of Wolcott, Connecticut, was disturbed by a loud crashing noise at 10.30 pm local time on Friday 19 April 2013 (2.30 am on Saturday 20 April GMT), which was accompanied by the appearance of a crack in the ceiling of his kitchen. When he investigated the next morning he found a hole in his roof and a chunk of rock on the floor of his attic. He was persuaded by a friend to take this to the Peabody Museum in New Haven, where Mineralogy Collections Manager Stefan Nicolescu confirmed the rock to be a meteorite.

The Wolcott Meteorite. 7 News.

Nicolescu described the meteorite as an ordinary chondrite, with a thin black fusion crust from its passage through the atmosphere. Ordinary Chondrites (or Stoney Chondrites) are the most abundant form of meteorite, forming roughly 87% of all known specimens. They contain a mixture of iron, iron oxides and silicates, this one appeared to be have a fairly high iron content, and was able to attract a magnet (again, this is quite common). Nicolescu also suggests that due to the time when this meteorite fell that there is a good chance that it is part of the Lyrid Meteor Shower, which would also imply that it is originally a chunk of Comet C/1861 G1 Thatcher (named after the astronomer A. E. Thatcher, not the politician).

Stefan Nicolescu demonstrating the magnetic properties of the Wolcott Meteorite. Melanie Brigockas/Yale.

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