Sometimes, The Sky Really Is Falling

The meteorite that crashed into Ruth Hamilton’s bedroom in Golden, British Columbia. Ruth Hamilton

Natural wonders have been a mainstay of our work on this platform since we started. We have tried diligently to mix those wonders with appropriate warnings about how nature’s wonders can also be transformed into danger, without being too Henny Penny about it. But when we read stories like this one, we can mix our wonder at the universe with our concern about what the sky might do next:

Meteorite Crashes Through Ceiling and Lands on Woman’s Bed

After a fireball streaked through the Canadian sky, Ruth Hamilton, of British Columbia, found a 2.8-pound rock the size of a large man’s fist near her pillow.

The meteorite in Ms. Hamilton’s bed and the hole in the ceiling caused by it. Ruth Hamilton

Ruth Hamilton was fast asleep in her home in British Columbia when she awoke to the sound of her dog barking, followed by “an explosion.” She jumped up and turned on the light, only to see a hole in the ceiling. Her clock said 11:35 p.m.

At first, Ms. Hamilton, 66, thought that a tree had fallen on her house. But, no, all the trees were there. She called 911 and, while on the phone with an operator, noticed a large charcoal gray object between her two floral pillows.

“Oh, my gosh,” she recalled telling the operator, “there’s a rock in my bed.”

A meteorite, she later learned.

The 2.8-pound rock the size of a large man’s fist had barely missed Ms. Hamilton’s head, leaving “drywall debris all over my face,” she said. Her close encounter on the night of Oct. 3 left her rattled, but it captivated the internet and handed scientists an unusual chance to study a space rock that had crashed to Earth.

“It just seems surreal,” Ms. Hamilton said in an interview on Wednesday. “Then I’ll go in and look in the room and, yep, there’s still a hole in my ceiling. Yep, that happened.”

Meteoroids hurl toward Earth every hour of every day. When they’re large enough, survive the trip through the Earth’s atmosphere and stick a landing, they become meteorites. People collect them. Others end up in museums. Some are sold on eBay. In February, Christie’s held a record-shattering auction of rare meteorites, raking in more than $4 million.

On the night the meteorite crashed Ms. Hamilton’s sleep in Golden, a town of 3,700 people about 440 miles east of Vancouver, other Canadians had heard two loud booms and seen a fireball streaking across the sky. Some caught the phenomenon on video, according to University of Calgary researchers…

Read the whole article here.

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