New Delhi, July 16 (IANS) In an extremely rare astronomical event, a French woman was sipping coffee on a terrace with her friend when she was struck by a meteorite, media reported. A mysterious pebble hit the woman in the ribs.
“I heard a great ‘boom’ coming from the roof near us, and in a second, felt a jolt in the ribs. I thought it was an animal, a bat!” The woman was quoted as saying.
“We thought it was a piece of cement that we apply to ridge tiles. But it was colorless.”
To figure out what stuck her, a local roofer examined the rock and suggested it was a meteorite. Following this, the rock was examined by geologist Dr Thierry Rebmann, who confirmed its terrestrial origin.
The rock contained a mixture of iron and silicon and could be a meteorite, Rebmann was quoted as saying by the local newspaper. According to the report, all the pieces of meteorite found weighed more than 100 grams.
The geologist added that the phenomenon of people hitting such objects is very rare. Meteorites are “space rocks” that survive their journey through Earth’s atmosphere and fall to Earth.
These objects — known as meteorites when in space — range in size from dust particles to small asteroids. According to NASA, about 50 tons of meteorites are estimated to hit the Earth every day.
“In our temperate environment, it’s very rare to find them,” Rebman said.
“They merge with other elements. On the other hand, in a desert, we can find them more easily.” The first confirmed case of a direct hit by a meteorite in the US was in 1954, when a 3.6 kg stony meteorite crashed through a woman’s roof, seriously injuring her.