Mineralogist at Peabody Museum confirms meteorite fall in Wolcott

test test
Mineralogist Stefan Nicolescu demonstrating the meteorite’s magnetic field. (Photo by Melanie Brigockas)

An object that fell through the roof of a house in Wolcott on April 19 was confirmed to be a meteorite by Stefan Nicolescu, mineralogy collections manager at the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History.

The meteorite split into two pieces as it hit the roof and fell through the ceiling onto the attic floor. The smaller part, which was brought to the Peabody for identification, weighed 7.8 ounces and is 2.5 x 2 x 1.5 inches in size. Nicolescu described the meteorite as an ordinary chondrite, the most common type of meteorite.

It has an intense black, very thin fusion crust from heat generated when the rock came through the atmosphere, and a light gray interior. Small blobs — called chondrites — are visible on the fresh inside (where it broke from the other piece found). It has enough metallic iron interspersed in its mass to attract a magnet. These are all features that are common in meteorites.

This is the third recorded fall of a meteorite through the roof of a house in Connecticut. In 1971 and 1982 meteorites fell through roofs of houses only a few miles apart in Wethersfield. The latter is on view at the Peabody’s Hall of Minerals, Earth and Space along with one that landed in Weston in 1807. Known as the Weston meteorite, it was the first recorded fall of a meteorite in the New World.

Science & Technology