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Meteorite Crashes Through Roof

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Aukland (UPI) Jun 14, 2004
A grapefruit-sized meteorite hurled through the roof of a house in Auckland, New Zealand, but luckily no one was injured.

The rock traveling at about 300 mph crashed through the ceiling, hit a couch, then bounced back up to the ceiling before landing under the family's computer, the BBC reported Sunday.

"There was just a huge explosion and we looked around and there was just dust everywhere," home-owner Brenda Archer told New Zealand television. "I'm just glad no one was sitting on the couch because they would have got absolutely crowned."

Meteorite expert Joel Schiff of Auckland University said it could be worth more than $5,000 to collectors.

"Falling through a roof is really an exceptional event and this is a beautiful, large specimen," he said.

Most meteorites burn up before hitting Earth, he said.

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Dr. Guy Consolmagno divides his time between Tucson, Arizona, where he observes asteroids and Kuiper Belt comets with the Vatican's 1.8 meter telescope on Mt. Graham, and Castel Gandolfo, Italy, home of the Vatican meteorites. The Vatican Observatory established a research branch in Arizona in 1981 when the growing population of Rome made the sky too bright for astronomical observations.