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Small ‘Meteorites’ Smash Through Roof of a House in Thailand

Jun 30, 2016 01:35 AM EDT
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Building Planets Through Collisions
Small “meteorites” came crashing through a house in Thailand, leaving a hole in the roof.
(Photo : NASA/JPL-Caltech / Wikimedia Commons)

Small rocks, which were said to be meteorites, crashed through the roof of a house in Thailand.

The biggest rock, which is the size of a chicken egg, punched a hole in the house's corrugated roof. The smaller rocks smashed through the walls, Mirror News reports.

The family who lived in the said house in Phitsanulok, Thailand was having breakfast around 7:30 am on Tuesday when the rocks started to hit. The rocks sounded like gunfire hitting the roof.

When the noised died down, the owner of the house went to check the area and was surprised to see the rocks.

According to a report by Slate.com's Bad Astronomy blog, the homeowner picked up the 300-gram rock and said it was hot to the touch.

The homeowner and other people in the area reportedly heard a loud explosion some time before, and this, they suspected, might have been the shock wave from the meteorite entering the atmosphere.

According to Bad Astronomy's Phil Plait, the rock did look like a meteorite: it has a gray interior common in stony meteorites and a dark outer shell, which could be the "fusion crust" caused by the intense heat when the meteoroid passed through the atmosphere at high speed.

However, Plait said that the homeowner might have been confused about the rock's heat.

Meteoroids are only hot for a few seconds as they pass through the air and decelerate from hypersonic speeds to below the speed of sound, Plait said.

When a meteoroid touches the upper atmosphere about 80 to 100 kilometers above the Earth's surface, the intense pressure created by the passage compresses and heats the air up, which is why meteoroids could be hot to the touch.

However, as it slows down the rest of the way at a few hundred kilometers per hour where air is generally cold that high up, meteorites could be very cold to the touch once found immediately after hitting the ground.

In September of 2015, Slate.com reported a larger meteor that burned up in Bangkok.

The rocks will be tested by experts to determine whether or not they are actual meteorites.

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