Meteorite Penetrates Home, Misses Woman's Head By Inches

One Canadian woman narrowly missed getting hit by a meteorite that crashed through her roof and landed on her pillow. 

On Oct. 3, Ruth Hamilton was asleep in her bed when she heard an explosive bang, and something fell through the roof and showered her with debris, she told Victoria News. 

She jumped out of bed and turned on the light, finding a rock lying between her pillows, right next to where her head had been. The object was about the size of a fist and weighed about 1.3 kilograms, The New York Times reported.

Hamilton called 911, and a police officer responded, inspecting the debris and checking to see if local construction workers had set off any explosions on a highway site in Kicking Horse Canyon, Victoria News reported. 

 

 

A representative of the construction company said no blasting occurred that night, but they saw "a bright light in the sky that exploded and caused a few booms," Hamilton told Victoria News. According to the Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC), Hamilton realized the object on her pillow was probably a rock from space - a greyish, melon-size boulder.

According to Live Science's sister site Space.com, thousands of fast-moving space rocks survive their fiery passage through Earth's atmosphere and hit the planet as meteorites each year, though most go unnoticed and undetected. Few people have been as close to a meteorite as Hamilton was at the moment of impact.

A famous example is Ann Hodges, who was struck by a falling meteorite in Sylacauga, Alabama, on Nov. 30, 1954. In the same way, Hamilton was asleep when the meteorite slammed into her home, Hodges was as well. Hamilton got away with it, but Hodges didn't. In 2019, Space.com reported that Hodges' meteorite was about the size of a softball and weighed about 3.8 kg. She suffered a large bruise on her side after it rebounded off a radio console.

Though Hamilton was uninjured by her close call, the experience still left her shaken, she told the CBC.

 

 

"You're sound asleep, safe, you think, in your bed, and you can get taken out by a meteorite, apparently," Hamilton said. Scientists at the Department of Physics and Astronomy will get the meteorite at Western University in London, Ontario, for analysis, but she would like to keep the rock once the researchers' investigation is done, the CBC reported.

 

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