[meteorite-list] Suspected Meteorite Hits Illinois Home

From: Ron Baalke <baalke_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Mon, 5 Mar 2007 14:34:03 -0800 (PST)
Message-ID: <200703052234.OAA02655_at_zagami.jpl.nasa.gov>


Suspected meteorite hits Bloomington home
By M.K. Guetersloh
Pantagraph (Bloomington, Illinois)
March 5, 2007

UPDATE 2:30 p.m. BLOOMINGTON - A Bloomington couple caught a falling
star Monday morning not quite in their pockets but in a bedroom of their

A chunk of metal that crashed through the bedroom window of David and
Dee Riddle just after 9:30 a.m. appears may be a meteorite but it also
could be a piece of space junk according to preliminary analysis by
several Illinois State University geology professors.

However, the professors who had a look at it agree that whatever the
heavy, gray metal-based object that crashed through their window
definitely came from space.

Robert "Skip" Nelson, a professor of geology at ISU, came out to
Riddles' home to take a look at the object, which is about the size and
shape of deck of cards.

Nelson said based on the density of the object, the metal could be an
iron-nickel mixture or a heavy stainless steel. It is unlikely a
satellite or spacecraft would contain metal that heavy and dense, Nelson

"In my 36 years of investigating meteorite calls, this looks like the
real thing," Nelson said.

Nelson said to be sure the next step will be to call the United State
Geological Survey's meteorite center in Flagstaff, Ariz.

Because of the steep entry angle into the house and the speed the object
crashed into the house, Nelson said is definitely was not a rock thrown
at the window.

Eric Peterson, an assistant professor of geology, calculated the speed
the possible meteorite hit the home was at least 60 miles an hour.

Dee Riddle, who runs a day-care out of their Partner Place house, said
she heard the crash and felt the house shake around 9:30 a.m.

"My first thought was a bathroom mirror fell so I immediately started
looking," Riddle said. "That's when I found the hole in the mini-blinds
and the broken window.

"We were just lucky no one was sitting at the computer when it happened."

In addition to breaking through the window, the possible meteorite hit
the computer desk putting a hole through the particle board.

Nelson said the last confirmed meteorite to hit Bloomington was in the
Received on Mon 05 Mar 2007 05:34:03 PM PST

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