Meteorite Smashes Through Roof of Doctor’s Office (Video)

by Nancy Atkinson on January 21, 2010

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A meteorite came through the roof of a doctor’s office in Lorton, Virginia, USA. No one was hurt, but a hole was punched through the roof and ceiling. “It came through the roof, through the fire wall through the ceiling and hit the floor,” said Dr. Frank Ciampi in this video from WUSA TV. When he heard the noise, he thought a set of bookshelves had fallen down. The rock broke into pieces, but put together are about the size of a tennis ball. A planetary scientist at the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of Natural History, Cari Corrigan, confirmed the rock is a meteorite. She says the meteorite weighs just over a half pound (.22 kg) and was probably traveling about 350 kph (220 mph) when it struck the building.

Lorton is just outside of the Washington, DC area, and has a population of about 28,000 people.
Source: WUSA News

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Nancy Atkinson is Universe Today's Senior Editor. She also is the host of the NASA Lunar Science Institute podcast and works with Astronomy Cast. Nancy is also a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.

Aqua January 21, 2010 at 12:32 PM

WOW! Just last night I watched a show about Meteor hunters tracking a fall in Canada – LOTS of hard work and traveling for them to find half a dozen stones. And then THIS ONE almost falls in the Doctor’s lap! ACK!

Note to self: BUY a good metal detector! and hardhat?

Surak January 21, 2010 at 1:16 PM

“It came from the roof, through the fire wall …”

Oh great, now we have to worry about meteorites attacking us from cyberspace!

I hope Microsoft has a patch for this one soon!

Kevin January 21, 2010 at 2:05 PM

Good heavens, meteorites make house calls! :D

lookingbeyond January 21, 2010 at 3:51 PM

That Dr. should be buying a whole batch of lottery tickets right now..

That is amazing and a little bit scary at the same time. Is there any recorded history of anyone actually being struck by meteorites or fragments?

Jon Hanford January 21, 2010 at 6:00 PM

@lookingbeyond, Ann Hodges was struck by a meteorite in her house in Alabama in 1954. Hers was the first confirmed instance of a person being struck by a meteorite. Check out the wiki page for the Sylacauga meteorite here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ann_Hodges .

There are links to a few more recent cases at the bottom of the page. Pretty rare, though.

HalcyonSpirit January 21, 2010 at 7:07 PM

There’s a probably another recently-fallen meteorite sitting in Virginia somewhere; I was driving back to college last Friday night along I-81 south and spotted a really, really nice meteor streaking across the sky in front of me. It had a bright, thick streak behind it and may have impacted the ground somewhere. Given where I was, it couldn’t have been this meteorite.

SteveZodiac January 22, 2010 at 8:48 AM

Virginia obviously is is someone’s crosshairs :-/ Glad no-one was hurt though.

Aqua January 22, 2010 at 9:24 AM

Have you ever found a meteorite? I have! Was digging up my driveway out front when my storm drain got plugged solid. I came across an old redwood tree stump at the original grade (3′ down). There were three stone tools next to it.. and a meteorite. We are across the street from a spring overlooking a creek. A great hunting/camping spot?

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