Ruth Hamilton was sound asleep at her home in British Columbia when she was awakened by the barking of her dog, followed by an “explosion.” She jumped up and turned on the light, but saw a hole in the ceiling.
Her watch showed 23:35
At first Miss Hamilton thought that a tree had fallen on her house. But no, all the trees were there. She called 911 and, on the phone with the operator, noticed a large, charcoal gray object between her two flower pillows.
“Oh my gosh,” she recalls as she told the operator, “there is a rock in my bed.”
She later learned that it was a meteorite.
The 2.8-pound rock, the size of a big man’s fist, nearly grazed Mrs Hamilton’s head, leaving “pieces of drywall on my face,” she said. The close acquaintance on the night of October 3 shocked her, but this captivated the internet and provided scientists with an unusual chance to study a cosmic rock that fell to Earth.
“It just seems surreal,” Ms. Hamilton said in an interview on Wednesday. “Then I’ll go in and look into the room, and yes, there is still a hole in my ceiling. Yeah, it happened.
Meteoroids rush towards the Earth every hour and every day. When they are large enough, they travel through the Earth’s atmosphere and land, they become meteorites. People collect them. The rest end up in museums. Some are sold on eBay. In February, Christie’s held a record auction of rare meteorites, raising over $ 4 million.
On the night that a meteorite broke Mrs Hamilton’s sleep in Golden, a city of 3,700 about 440 miles east of Vancouver, other Canadians heard two loud crashes and saw a ball of fire flying across the sky. Some have captured the phenomenon on video, according to researchers at the University of Calgary.
After Ms. Hamilton called the emergency services, she said, an officer who entered her home first suggested that the rock may have been an explosion from road works on a nearby highway. But the workers did not carry out blasting operations that night.
Then the officer made another guess: “I think you have a meteorite in your bed.”
According to her, Ms. Hamilton did not sleep the rest of the night and sat in a chair, drinking tea, and a meteorite fell on her bed. Ms. Hamilton told local news outlets that at first she kept the news to herself, but she later reported the episode to researchers at the University of Western Ontario, where Peter Brown, a professor there, confirmed that the rock was a meteorite “from an asteroid.” … “
Ms. Hamilton also shared this with her family and friends. “My granddaughters might say that their grandmother nearly died in bed from a meteorite,” she said.
Previously, meteorites fell into people’s homes and yards. In 1982, a six-pound cannon crashed into a house in Wethersfield, Connecticut, smashed through the ceilings of the second and first floors, crashed into the living room and ricocheted through the doorway into the dining room, where it stopped. In 2020, an Indonesian undertaker was struck by a 4.4 pound meteorite flying through his roof.
According to Professor Brown, the likelihood of a meteorite hitting someone’s home and falling on a bed in any given year is roughly one in 100 billion.
Mrs. Hamilton’s rock was one of two meteorites that fell on Golden that night. Researchers, about 160 miles east in Calgary, said they traveled to the city to find a second in a field less than a mile from Ms. Hamilton’s home, after triangulating its location based on photographs and videos taken by several people. in this district. sent.
Alan Hildebrand, an associate professor at the University of Calgary who studies meteorites, said that he and his fellow researchers were so happy to get their hands on the stone that “I think we hugged.”
Meteorites provide scientists with a rare opportunity to learn more about the solar system and the asteroid belt. Researchers can sample their materials instead of looking at them from afar.
Scientists said they could also use meteorites to reconstruct their paths from space through the atmosphere to the earth, after which the rocks may have lost about 90 percent of their mass. While flying through the air, meteorites can heat up to about 2,000 degrees Celsius or over 3,600 degrees Fahrenheit, traveling at 50 times the speed of sound, although they can be cold to the touch by the time they reach the ground.
After the researchers finished studying the meteorite, she planned to leave it, as it landed on her territory, Ms. Hamilton said. She assumed she was lucky. When asked if she bought a lottery ticket the next day, she said no; she already won: “I was a winner.”
“I have never been hurt,” she added. “I went through this experience and I didn’t even have a scratch. So all I had to do was shower and dust off the drywall. “