“Physics Department Confirms Stony Chondrite Meteorite Hits House at TCNJ”

College of New Jersey Confirms Rare Meteorite Discovery

In what has been described as a rare and thrilling opportunity for scientists at The College of New Jersey (TCNJ), the institution’s Department of Physics has confirmed the discovery of a stony chondrite meteorite. Based on extensive investigation, including visual examination, density measurements, and scanning electron microscope (SEM) images, retired meteorite expert, Jerry Delaney, aided in the confirmation of the find.

According to TCNJ’s Department of Physics chair, Nathan Magee, the meteorite is believed to be an LL-6 chondrite, which is lower in iron content than most chondrite meteorites and has been heavily transformed by intense heat before entering the Earth’s atmosphere. This falls in line with the only other witnessed chondrite falls known to science.

The meteorite was discovered near Titusville, New Jersey, and is believed to have landed on Monday, May 8, 2023, at approximately 12:14 p.m. EDT. It was found by a homeowner, who confirmed that it was still warm when discovered at approximately 12:35 p.m. Reports of flight-streaks and loud noises appear to corroborate the timing estimate.

The meteorite weighs 984 grams (2.2 lbs) and has a volume of approximately 317 cubic centimeters, with a bulk density of approximately 3.2–3.3 g/cc. Further investigations could provide more precise measurements for mineral composition, confirming or altering the preliminary LL chondrite classification, and advanced isotopic analysis could establish the mineral components’ age more accurately and provide more information about the rock’s trajectory.

While the parent-body asteroid that generated LL chondrites is not yet known precisely, the objects are believed to be from the main asteroid belt, approximately 4.56 billion years old, making them older than any dated rock on Earth.

In addition to being an exciting discovery for TCNJ’s Department of Physics, the meteorite’s discovery is expected to provide insights into Earth’s celestial neighbors, and ongoing studies could further unravel the mysteries of meteorites and asteroids.

The meteorite discovery is yet another reminder of the wonders of space within our reach and is expected to attract scientists, astronomy enthusiasts, and the public alike, who are keen to explore and learn more about the universe beyond Earth’s atmosphere.

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