The potato-sized meteorite crashed into the family's roof, hitting the floor and bouncing off the walls. Many believe it is debris from Halley's comet.
A New Jersey family received the shock of a lifetime when a mysterious rock crashed through the roof of their home in Hopewell Township.
The rock, which authorities are saying may be a meteorite, crashed into the home on Monday, May 8th. It shot through the family’s roof, smashing into the hardwood floor and bouncing around the bedroom. Thankfully, no one was home at the time.
The family discovered the rock still warm and lying in a corner of the room and initially suspected that someone had thrown the rock at the house. It measured about four by six inches and weighed about four pounds.
Suzy Kop, one of the home’s owners, told ABC News that on closer inspection, she realized the rock was more than it seemed.
“We are thinking it’s a meteorite that came through [my dad’s bedroom] and hit the floor here because that’s completely damaged, it ricocheted up to this part of the ceiling and then finally rested on the floor there,” Kop told CBS. “I did touch the thing because I thought it was a random rock, I don’t know, and it was warm.”
Kop called authorities to report the strange rock, and they came over right away, fearing that the family could have been exposed to radiation if the rock was indeed a meteorite.
“They were afraid that, you know, because it fell from the sky, was it radioactive? Could we have a type of residue on us? So they scanned us and everything came back clear,” Kop said to CBS.
With authorities confirming their safety, the Kop family is now hoping to take the next step: reaching out to astrophysicists to examine the object and possibly determine its origin.
Currently, the leading theory championed by the Hopewell Township Police Department is that the metallic rock originates from the Eta Aquariids meteor shower, according to their statement.
The Eta Aquariids meteor shower is made up of debris left by Halley’s comet hundreds of years ago, which accumulates and manifests into displays visible from Earth, usually in May and October.
Most debris from this shower is roughly the size of a grain of sand, but every so often larger-sized meteorites, like the object that struck the Kop family’s home, appear.
While this theory has yet to be confirmed, Mike Hankey of the American Meteor Society was quoted on the town’s Facebook page as saying that the rock “is most certainly a meteorite.”
Hankey added that anyone with a home security camera should review their footage to look for evidence that a meteorite crash landed there.
“There could have been a flash in the sky and/or a boom sound recorded,” Hankey said. “All residents should be alert to look for black rocks on their properties.”
The Facebook post also warned residents against using magnets near any suspected meteorites or fixing any damage space rocks may have inflicted on residences and other property.
“Please resist the temptation to hold a magnet to it, as that will erase useful scientific data that a fall this fresh would otherwise contain,” the post said. “Also, the homeowner should not discard the dented flooring or any other building materials that it noticeably damaged, as that will be quite valuable to collectors now.”
With some meteorites selling for millions, hopeful residents of Hopewell Township are keeping their eyes to the sky.