An object about the size of a golf ball and weighing 13 ounces crashed through the roof of a Monmouth, NJ home at approximately 9PM local time on Tuesday. The object was tested by the Monmouth County Office of Emergency Management and found not to be a radiation hazard. The FAA determined that it was not metallic debris from an airplane. The object struck the house with enough force to break through the roof and ceiling, and shatter tile on a bathroom floor.

In, Chris Newmarker quotes local policeman Robert Brightman as saying, “It’s rather unusual. I haven’t seen anything like it in my career.”

The object may be a meteor, but if so it is extremely unusual. Meteors are commonly heated to more than 3000 degrees Fahrenheit by a process called ram pressure as they enter the atmosphere, but this object was not hot when it impacted the house. Over 99% of meteoric objects are composed either of iron and nickel, or are stony meteorites that are composed of a mix of minerals including iron, magnesium and others. Normally, meteors are blackened by re-entry. There are three minor meteor showers and one major one, the Quadrantids, in progress now, and the Quadrantid shower reaches its maximum on January 2-4. It is not associated with meteors reaching the ground, however, but such an event is always possible. The object was not observed prior to crashing through the roof. Unusually composed meteors may be debris from celestial events, such as supernovas.

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