🔴 An object fell from the sky and through the roof of a Hopewell house Monday

🔴 The TCNJ physics department will study the object to determine what it is

🔴 It would be only the third time in history a meteorite landed intact in New Jersey

If it was a meteorite that hit a Hopewell house Monday afternoon it will only be the third to land intact in New Jersey in nearly 300 years.

The 4-by-6-inch oblong shiny object left a hole in the roof of the house on Old Washington Crossing-Pennington Road around 1:15 p.m. The object went through the roof, the ceiling and landed on a hardwood floor in a second-floor bedroom.

Nate Magee, the department chair of the physics department at The College of New Jersey, will be charged with determining whether or not it was a meteorite. Homeowner Suzy Kop will bring it to Magee Wednesday. Despite possibly being an object from space there's no danger.

"It shouldn't be a problem. My understanding is that the Hopewell Police Department did test it for any potential radioactivity and they didn't find any, which you would not normally expect there to be any from a meteorite. You might want to wash your hands in case there were some heavy metals on it before your next meal," Magee told New Jersey 101.5.

Object that crashed into a Hopewell house 5/8/23
Object that crashed into a Hopewell house 5/8/23 (Hopewell police)

So what hit the house?

Until he examines the object, Magee isn't ready to make a definitive statement about what it is.

"It seems obvious that it came from the sky at a high rate of speed and certainly the photos of it appear to be consistent with a meteorite," Magee said.

McGee said many meteorites enter the Earth's atmosphere over the course of a year but burn up and never make it to the surface. But only a few hundred meteorites the size of what landed in Hopewell make it to the surface and it's even less common for them to be found right away. They are usually found in remote areas like a desert or Antarctica where they stand out against the usual background.

"So what's really unusual is for somebody to be right there, right next to it when an object lands like that," Magee said

Object that crashed into a Hopewell house 5/8/23
Object that crashed into a Hopewell house 5/8/23 (Hopewell police)

Only the third in New Jersey history

If the object does prove to be a meteorite it would be only the third time in history one landed intact in New Jersey and both in Monmouth County.

The first was in Deal in 1829 the second in Freehold Township in 2007, according to a New York Times report.  The family whose property the meteorite landed kept it. If the Hopewell object turns out to be a meteorite it would belong to the homeowner.

The object has drawn the attention of  "meteorite hunters" who are interested in buying a piece of the meteorite or the entire rock.

"These things have pretty high value to collectors of meteorites," Andrew Kruegel told New Jersey 101.5. "I collect meteorites myself as well as minerals and fossils, so having something like this happen in my home state is pretty rare and exciting. I was hoping to see if I could somehow acquire a piece of the rock."

Kruegel said the going rate is anywhere between $10 and $100 per gram depending on the materials in the meteorite and the type of meteorite and how it was found.

Dan Alexander is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at dan.alexander@townsquaremedia.com

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