A woman in British Columbia, Canada, is thanking her lucky stars.
Earlier this month, a meteorite hurtling toward Earth crashed into Ruth Hamilton’s home.
Moments before the impact, she was awoken by her dog barking. The next thing she knew, there was a loud crash.
“And all of a sudden there was an explosion,” Hamilton told CTV News Vancouver. Hamilton then jumped out of bed, turned on the lights and went to inspect the commotion.
That’s when she noticed a fist-sized hole in her ceiling, right above where she had been fast asleep.
After calling 911, she looked around her bed, flipping over her pillow. Then she saw it; a smooth, angular chunk of black rock.
“I didn’t feel it,” Hamilton said. “It never touched me. I had debris on my face from the drywall, but not a single scratch.”
Police arrived on the scene, questioning Hamilton and a nearby construction crew, the latter of which told authorities they had seen a “bright ball in the sky,” before the impact.
A group of researchers from the University of Calgary and Western University inspected Hamilton’s home to look for more details about the space rock.
Later in the week, they opened their investigation to the rest of Golden, the town in British Columbia where Hamilton lives. The team eventually found a second rock weighing a little more than a pound in the northeast part of town.
“We’re trying to reconstruct what the path was through the sky as it arrived,” Phil McCausland, a geophysicist at Western University, said. “Because it’s scientifically even more valuable if we can reconstruct what the orbit was before it hit the Earth. It gives us an idea of where it came from.”
The research team is pleading with people in the area to come forward with any other pieces of evidence of a meteorite impact.
Hamilton loaned the meteorite that almost killed her to Western University to photograph, weigh, measure, and to potentially take a sample of it. She expects to get it back by Nov. 30.
Officials say that hundreds of meteorites strike the Earth’s surface every year. However, it’s rare for the space rocks to land in areas that are easily recoverable.
“The number one misconception is that they’re hot when they land,” Herd said, adding that they begin cooling some 10 to 15 miles up in the atmosphere. “Mrs. Hamilton’s bed didn’t catch fire.”
Experts say that the chances of a meteorite landing in your home are astronomical. Specifically, about 1 in 4 trillion.
When asked if she plans to buy a lottery ticket, she laughed, then replied:
“I won the lottery. I won it, I’m alive. I’m laughing about it. I feel pretty blessed.”
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