Meteorite impact: Metallic object believed to be a meteorite hits home in New Jersey

new jersey meteorite may 2023 f

On May 8, 2023, just after 13:00 LT, a metallic object, believed to be a meteorite, pierced the roof of a home in Hopewell Township, New Jersey, U.S., without causing any injuries. Hopewell Township Police Department is currently working with other agencies to confirm the identity of the object.

An unexpected celestial visitor made its presence known in Hopewell Township, New Jersey, on May 8, 2023. Just after 13:00 LT, a metallic object, suspected to be a meteorite, pierced the roof of a ranch-style home on Old Washington Crossing Pennington Road, denting the hardwood floor but causing no injuries.

The Hopewell Township Police Department (HTPD) reported that despite the shock of the incident, none of the residents in the home were hurt. The object, described as oblong and metallic, measured approximately 10.16 x 15.24 cm (4 x 6 inches).

New Jersey meteorite impact
New Jersey meteorite impact. Credit: Hopewell Township Police Department
new jersey meteorite may 2023 object image 1
New Jersey meteorite. Credit: Hopewell Township Police Department

Following the incident, HTPD reached out to several agencies seeking assistance in both positively identifying the object and ensuring the safety of the residents and the object itself.

If confirmed to be a meteorite, the object could potentially be part of the Eta Aquariids meteor shower, an annual celestial event. However, this connection remains speculative until further investigation.

The investigation is ongoing, with efforts focused on confirming the nature of the object and any potential risk it might pose.

Meteorite impacts such as this are very rare.

➟ Read more about similar events at #meteoriteimpact


May 10

Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) sensors did not detect this event, and only one eyewitness reported it to the American Meteor Society, NASA ARES reported, adding that seismometers do not clearly show this event.

However, NOAA recently made airport weather radar (TDWR) data available through the same Weather and Climate Toolkit software as NEXRAD data, and this fall shows up clearly in TDWR data. The composite image shows a mixture of NEXRAD (blue/gray pixels) and TDWR (green/purple) data. Small meteorites show up remarkably well in TDWR Doppler velocity data, probably as a function of radar scan parameters rather than actual velocity.

Falling meteorites experienced winds out of ~300 degrees azimuth, with a maximum velocity of ~60 m/s (~140 mph). As a result, meteorites are probably widely scattered on the ground.

new jersey meteorite impact radar
Composite radar map showing signatures of falling meteorites. Blue/gray is NEXRAD, green/purple are airport radars. Credit: NASA/ARES


1 Press Release by Hopewell Township Police Department – May 8, 2023

Featured image credit: Hopewell Township Police Department


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