Yesterday a small meteorite struck the back forty of PFHQ!!!
By now you may have already heard about this on CNN or MSNBC as they both sent representatives out to our little "starstruck" bit of Florida. We are quite the celebrities ... after all, how many people have meteorites strike their property?
I remember along time ago reading about a woman lying on her couch who was struck by a small meteorite that crashed through her ceiling. What are the odds?
Lucky for us, no one was standing around in the vicinity when the space rock actually struck our place. One of the UF professors that came out to investigate said the shock wave would be devastating even on a small rock like this one.
The picture above shows the impact crater and the classic ejecta patterns caused by the impact.
The UF nerds said that since the meteorite struck a big turkey oak first, the impact crater was a little smaller than expected, but the also added that the deep sands probably absorbed much of the impact force.
The black material in the hole is burnt carbonized something and bits of glass that formed as the sand melted under the intense heat of the strike.
I took this picture before the scientists and media arrived, but after the meteorite had cooled enough to touch. You can see the pitted, heat blasted surface caused by entering our dense atmosphere at 30,000 miles per hour.
Only 100 feet to the East and it would have flattened our house.
I have 3 videos, that I shot yesterday. They are a little long and I apologize for the loading time, but I wanted to document the event and share it with the world.
Video number one is the actual discovery video. I had heard a very loud noise an hour or so before this, but assumed it was blasting at some lime rock quarry in the vicinity. The odd thing was that my wife had heard it too, even though she was 10 miles away at the time.
She called about it, but I couldn't explain it either. After talking to her, I took the camera and the old dogs and went out to video tape some nature scenes for the blog.
This is what happened ...
After discovering the crater, I was pretty excited and still not really comprehending what had happened.
I knew I had to document it while it was fresh though, so I began filming and describing what I saw. It was pretty easy to figure out the trajectory by looking at the damaged turkey oak tree and the ejecta patterns at the crater.
Later, after the rock had cooled, I slipped down into the crater and touched it. It was still very warm, but holdable, so I laid it next to my shop measuring stick and recorded the video below.
After filming the last video, I carefully placed the meteorite back in the hole before all the experts arrived. I thought I was pretty clever, but the space scientists from UF gave me a hard time about trampling the scene and erasing evidence ... as if it was a crime scene or something. I reminded them they were on MY property and guests for only as long as I deemed they qualified for that status.
That shut them up.
So, what happens next?
My plan is to make a display mount for the meteorite and place it atop my new cypress mantle in the living room.
The nerds assured me it was safe, not radioactive or full of pulsating slime creatures from planet Z.
They really, really wanted to take it for tests and I will eventually allow that, but I'm going along to make sure that I get it back and not some switcheroo replica.
I'll update you as I learn more about it, but for now ... keep watching the skies.