Scientists say NJ object is meteorite


Jan 5, 2007

FREEHOLD TOWNSHIP, N.J. - A mysterious rocklike object that crashed through the roof of a home and landed in the bathroom was a meteorite, experts said Friday.

For now, scientists are calling the dense metallic object "Freehold Township" after the place where it fell. It's about the size of a golf ball but weighs about 13 ounces, as much of a can of soup. Magnets held near it are attracted to it.

Rutgers University geologists Jeremy Delaney, Gail Ashley and Claire Condie and Peter Elliott, an independent metallurgist who studied the object, determined it was an iron meteorite because of its density, magnetic properties, markings and coloration.

It belongs to the family whose home was hit, but it is being kept for now in a secure location, according to Freehold Township police.

Police have not released the name of the homeowner nor identified the neighborhood where the home is located, but have said the object bounced off bathroom tiles and embedded in a wall.