"TODAY" Channel on Youtube shows that a woman in western Canada was asleep in bed when a nearly 3-pound rock crashed through her ceiling and landed next to her pillow. Scientists have confirmed it was a meteorite. The woman was not hurt.
A physicist says that the meteorite found in B.C. could shed light on solar system's origin. Peter G. Brown, a professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Western Ontario, says the meteorite made its fiery way to Earth on Oct. 3, after spinning out of its orbit in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, nearly 180 million kilometres away.
Brown says the woman has loaned the rock to the university and, for the next month or so, it will become "a small piece of a larger puzzle" as scientists "disentangle how the early solar system formed."
It seems that the 4.5 billion-year-old meteorite is older than anything on Earth but is formed of minerals found here, like iron and nickel, although in much larger proportions, giving it unusual weight for a rock its size.
The exact chemistry is still being studied.
The rock will eventually be returned to the woman whose roof it punctured.
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A so-called meteorite is a solid piece of debris from an object, such as a comet, asteroid, or meteoroid, that originates in outer space and survives its passage through the atmosphere to reach the surface of a planet or moon. When the original object enters the atmosphere, various factors such as friction, pressure, and chemical interactions with the atmospheric gases cause it to heat up and radiate energy. It then becomes a meteor and forms a fireball, also known as a shooting star or falling star; astronomers call the brightest examples so-called "bolides". Once it settles on the larger body's surface, the meteor really becomes a meteorite. Meteorites vary greatly in size. For geologists, a bolide is a meteorite large enough to create an impact crater.