Ruth Hamilton was fast asleep at her home in British Columbia when she woke up to a “popping” sound after her dog barked. He jumped up and turned on the light, only seeing a hole in the ceiling.
His clock was showing 23:35.
At first, Ms. Hamilton thought a tree had fallen over her house. But no, all the trees were there. She called 911 and while on the phone with an operator she noticed a large charcoal-gray object between her two flowery pillows.
“Oh my god,” he reminded the operator, “there’s a stone in my bed.”
A meteorite, he learned later.
The boulder, the size of a large 2.8-pound man’s fist, had barely missed Ms. Hamilton’s head, leaving “drywall flakes all over my face.” His close encounter on the night of October 3 shook him, but captivated the internet and gave scientists an unusual chance to study a space rock that had crashed to Earth.
“It looks surreal,” Ms Hamilton said in an interview Wednesday. “Then I’ll go in and look around the room, and yes, I still have a hole in my ceiling. Yes, it did.”
Meteoroids are thrown towards the Earth every hour of every day. When they’re big enough, survive the journey through Earth’s atmosphere and make a landing, they become meteorites. People to collect to them. Others ends museums. some have been sold eBay. In February, Christie’s held a record-breaking auction for rare meteorites. Raising more than $4 million.
The night the meteor knocked Ms. Hamilton’s sleep in Golden, a town of 3,700 people about 440 miles east of Vancouver, other Canadians heard two loud explosions and saw a fireball flying in the sky. According to University of Calgary researchers, some captured the phenomenon on video.
After Ms Hamilton called 911, an officer who broke into her home said at first the stray rock may have been caused by an explosion from roadworks on a nearby highway. However, the workers did not make any explosions that night.
Then the officer made another guess: “I think you have a meteorite in your bed.”
Miss Hamilton did not sleep for the rest of that night and sat in a chair, sipping her tea as she sat on the meteorite bed. Ms Hamilton told local news outlets that she initially kept the news to herself, but later reported the incident to researchers at the University of Western Ontario, where professor Peter Brown confirmed the rock was a meteorite. ”
Ms Hamilton also told her family and friends. “My grandchildren can say that their grandmother was just killed by a meteorite in her bed,” she said.
Meteors have landed in people’s homes and gardens before. In 1982, a six-pound Crashed into a house in Wethersfield, Conn.pierced the second and first floor ceilings, hit the ball in the living room, and bounced through a doorway into the dining room, where he had come to rest. An Indonesian coffin maker in 2020 stunned a 4.4-pound meteorite coming from the roof.
The probability of a meteor hitting someone’s house and hitting a bed in any given year is approx. One in 100 billion said Professor Brown.
Miss Hamilton’s stone was one of two meteorites that struck Golden that night. Investigators 160 miles east of Calgary said they had driven into town to find the latter, less than a mile from Ms Hamilton’s home, after triangulating the location of several people in the area based on photos and video. had sent in.
“I think we hugged,” said Alan Hildebrand, associate professor of meteorites at the University of Calgary, that he and his fellow researchers were very happy to have the rock in their hands.
Meteorites offer a rare opportunity for scientists to learn more about the solar system and the asteroid belt. Instead of looking at their material from afar, researchers can sample them.
The scientists said they could also use meteorites to reconstruct paths from space to the atmosphere and back to the ground, at which point the rocks may have lost about 90 percent of their mass. During air travel, meteorites can heat up to around 2,000 degrees Celsius or over 3,600 degrees Fahrenheit as they travel at 50 times the speed of sound, but when they reach the ground they can be cold to the touch.
After researchers finished working on the meteorite, Ms. Hamilton said she planned to keep it since it fell on her property. He claimed he was lucky. When asked if he had bought a lottery ticket the next day, he said no; he had already won: “I was the winner.”
“I’ve never been hurt,” he added. “I had this experience and didn’t even get a scratch. So all I have to do is take a shower and clean the drywall dust.”