A spectacular fireball was spotted in the skies over California last week, preceding the weekend’s Orionid meteor shower that took place this past weekend. Now a piece of that meteorite has been found after it struck the roof of a California pastor’s home.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports that a gray, 2-inch rock that hit the Novato home of Kent and Lisa Webber. Lisa Webber found the rock, and remembered hearing a noise the night of the fireball. She also found a dent on her roof where the 2.2 ounce space rock struck.
A Presbyterian pastor, Kent Webber didn’t discount the possible cosmic implications of his home being struck by an object from the heavens, but he didn’t play it up either.
“It’s wonderful and very interesting to think this might be billions of years old,” Rev. Webber told PaloAltoPatch. “Maybe God’s trying to get our attention. I’m not sure what God is trying to say, and I’m not sure how to interpret it.”
Lisa Webber initially thought the noise she heard was made by an animal, but later after seeing a news report on the meteor’s path, she looked closer. Lisa found a small rock and brought it inside. Her college-aged son remembered a television program that claimed meteorites were magnetic, and after testing that theory (it was), she contacted SETI.
Peter Jenniskens of the SETI Institute in Mountain View confirmed the find as authentic.
“It’s just science — and it’s cool,” Lisa Webber said. “It’s wonderful. It’s like the heavens coming down, and history and this thing probably came from an asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter — I mean, how cool is that?”
This past week the Earth passed through a stretch of space with debris from Haley’s comet, leading to the Orionid meteor shower that peaked between Saturday and Sunday.
Do you think there is any cosmic significance to a meteorite landing on a pastor’s roof in California?