Space Rock That Crashed Into New Jersey Home Could Be 5 Billion-Year-Old Chunk of Halley’s Comet
Authorities in Hopewell Township, New Jersey are looking for answers after an unidentified object fell from the sky and struck a house on May 8, 2023. Many believe the oblong-shaped rock could be chunk from Halley’s Comet, a celestial body that becomes visible from Earth every 75-79 years.
The large piece of rock struck the roof of the home at around 1:00 PM, penetrating it and coming to rest on the floor. According to the occupants, it bounced up to the ceiling before coming to rest in the center of the bedroom, damaging the hardwood floor.
Initially, the family thought someone had thrown a rock through the window. When it became obvious that wasn’t the case, they called the non-emergency line of the Hopewell Township Police Department. The authorities arrived soon after.
As the four-inch by six-inch oblong object had fallen from the sky, they had everyone in the residence scanned for radioactivity, with the results coming back clear.
The Hopewell Township Police Department proceeded to contact several agencies in an attempt to identify just what the chunk of rock is. While the investigation is ongoing, it’s currently believed the object may be related to the Eta Aquarids meteor shower. The annual phenomenon occurs between April 19 and May 29, and peaked around the time the rock struck the house.
Speaking with CBS News, Derrick Pitts, chief astronomer at The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, said the rock is likely between four and five billion years old, as the debris making up the meteor shower originated from Halley’s Comet.
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According to NASA, Halley’s Comet becomes visible every eight decades or so. It was last seen in 1986. The space agency is currently counting down to when it’ll next pass over the planet, on July 27, 2061.