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Ruth Hamilton had a rude awakening earlier this month when a large meteorite plunged from space, through her roof, and landed in her bed.
The resident of Golden, British Columbia, woke up to the sound of an accident and the barking of her dog.
“I’ve never been so scared in my life,” Hamilton, 66, told The Canadian Press of the Oct. 3 incident at around 11:35 p.m. “I didn’t know what to do, so I called 911 and when I spoke with the operator I turned my pillow over and saw that a stone had slipped between two pillows. “
“I didn’t feel it,” she told CTV News in Vancouver. “It never touched me. I had debris on my face from the drywall, but not a single scratch.”
A police officer arrived at the scene but suspected that the object that landed in Hamilton’s bed was from a nearby construction site.
“He called the [construction site] and they said that they had not made an explosion but that they had seen an explosion in the sky and, at that moment, we realized that it was a meteorite, ”she said told The Canadian Press.
It turns out that the 2.8-pound space rock, the size of a small cabbage, was part of a meteor shower identified by Alan Hildebrand, a planetologist in the Department of Geosciences at the University of Calgary, and his colleagues. The group said the meteorite’s trajectory that struck Hamilton’s home would have made it visible across southeastern British Columbia and central and southern Alberta.
Hamilton said she was in shock after the incident. “The chances of this happening are so low that I’m quite grateful to be alive,” she said.
Long chances, indeed. “The chances of a meteorite being large enough to penetrate a roof and strike a bed are about 1 billion to 100 billion per year,” explains Peter Brown, professor and holder of the Canada Research Chair in Small Planetary Bodies.
Brown is appealing to the public in and around Golden to “check their home and business security cameras” for video of the meteor as it crosses the sky. by knowing its origin, we will have a much better chance to tell a full story of this incredible astronomical event. ”
Ruth Hamilton says she wants to keep the meteorite
After his surprising experience, Hamilton handed the meteorite over to scientists for study, but said The New York Times that when they’re done with it, she wants to keep it as some kind of lucky talisman.
But if she ever decides to sell it, the meteorite could fetch a pretty high price, according to Mendy Ouzillou, a member of The Meteoritical Society, who also oversees several passionate sites on Facebook and owns Skyfall Meteorites.
Ouzillou told NPR that a number of factors could determine a meteorite’s value to collectors, but “hitting a car, going through a roof … these meteorites over time become a mystic about them and increase in value.” .
These so-called “hammer stones” that have smashed into something man-made are prized, he says.
The makeup of a meteorite can make a big difference, says Ouzillou.
He cautions that evaluating such an object as Hamilton’s invisible sight is fraught with caveats. But he says he could fetch a low of $ 40 and $ 100 per gram, which puts him between around $ 50,000 and $ 127,000.
But, as Ouzillou notes, it doesn’t look like she’s ready to part ways with her lucky meteorite, anyway. “Not everyone who finds a Picasso in their attic wants to sell it,” he says.