10 October 2011

Extra Terrestrial finds soul mate... sort of

According to the Guardian (and French news sources) an egg-sized meteorite believed to be 4.57bn years old smashed through the roof of ae family home on the outskirts of Paris some time over the summer when everyone was away on holiday.

Not desperately interesting I suppose, Neither is the news that the meteorite remained buried in the roof insulation, until the family 32, noticed the roof was leaking and called out someone to fix it.

The roofer took one look at the broken tile and told the Comettes that whatever had smashed their roof tile must have come from the sky. "It would have had to be superman to break a tile in this way," he said. It was only then that the meteorite, weighing 88g (3.5oz), was discovered.

Curious to know exactly what it was, the family called out scientist Alain Carion, a mineral expert, who declared it an "exceptional" discovery. It's extremely rare. We have had only 50 or so meteorite falls in France over four centuries. We have never found anything like it within an 80km radius of Paris before."

He said the meteorite was a piece of chondrite that had come from the belt of asteroids between Mars and Jupiter. Most meteorites recovered on Earth are chondrites. They were formed when dust and small grains present in the early solar system created primitive asteroids. Chondrite meteors include dust believed to predate the formation of our solar system and to have come from elsewhere in the galaxy.

An interesting story of sorts but the kicker is that the family, whose house was hit, has the utterly appropriate name of Comette!

The Comettes will not be selling the meteorite "A piece of the history of space of which we know nothing, but which is fascinating, has fallen on us," Mrs Comette, an accountant at the French ministry of finance, told Le Parisien newspaper. "It's like a fairytale, and less likely than winning the lottery, we're told."

Well there you have it!


susan said...

and there I was hoping an alien's egg had hatched by the time they returned from holiday.

jams o donnell said...

Haha now that would have been good!