Astrophysicists at Clemson are examining a meteorite believed to have struck the roof of a home in Pawleys Island. In a press release, the group of astrophysicists confirmed the rock is a meteorite from outer space.
Pawleys Island resident Melanie Casselman contacted the university after finding the meteorite in her yard. Casselman believes the meteorite struck her roof, causing a dent in the structure.
Clemson astrophysicists Steve Brittain, Brad Meyer, and Máté Ádámkovics conducted tests to determine if the rock was a meteorite.
“The first and most important indicator was the dark, melted material on the outside of the rock,” Ádámkovics said. “It was clear that there were dark compounds with molten rock that showed flowlines — these dimples, almost like fingerprints. This meant that the rock was actually molten while it was moving through the air.”
Brittain said meteors of this size are fairly common, but this landing is rare.
“But one that hits a house or some kind of populated place, that’s a lot rarer,” Brittain said. “That’s what’s so unusual about this. It’s not so much that a meteor made it to the ground, it’s that it made it to the ground by hitting somebody’s house.”
The team at Clemson is working with Casselman to conduct tests that will determine the age and composition of the meteorite.
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