Tuesday 21 November 2017

Meteorite strikes Comettes' family home

Henry Samuel in Paris

A family returned from holiday to discover a 4.5 billion-year-old egg-sized meteorite had smashed through the roof of their house in suburban Paris.

Scientists said it was the first such space rock found so close to the French capital and one of only about 60 meteorites to have landed in France in four centuries.

In a further twist, the family in Draveil, about 12 miles south of Paris, are called the Comettes.

It is thought the meteor struck the house a few weeks ago when the Comettes were on holiday. They were only made aware of its presence when the roof started leaking. "We got the roof tiler round and he was astounded," said Martine Comette (32). "He said: 'You need to be Superman to break a tile like that! It must be a meteorite.'"

The rock had gone through the roof and was wedged in glass wool insulation. Alain Carion, a mineral scientist and meteor hunter, said the iron-rich celestial rock known as a "chondrite" was identifiable thanks to a "black fusion crust that characterises the crossing of the Earth's atmosphere".

The 3oz egg-sized object came from an asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. While rocks from Mars are estimated at €1,150 a gramme, the Draveil meteor would only fetch a few hundred euro, said Mr Carion. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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