Halloween may be a few weeks away, but Ruth Hamilton has already been subjected to a spooky "trick." On October 3, 2021, the Golden, British Columbia, resident was in deep slumber when she heard a massive explosion. Shortly after, Hamilton felt some debris on her face. She jumped off the bed and turned on the light only to find a melon-sized boulder on the pillow and a huge hole in her ceiling.
"I didn't feel it," Hamilton told CTV News. "It never touched me. I had debris on my face from the drywall, but not a single scratch."
A police officer dispatched to the scene initially attributed the explosion and the rock to a local construction crew working at a highway site in the vicinity. A company representative said that they were not responsible, but he had noticed "a bright light in the sky that had exploded and caused some booms."
"And the police officer came back in and said: 'Well, I think you have meteorite in your bed.'" Hamilton told CTV News.
The officer's suspicion was confirmed by camera footage of a fireball hurtling towards Canada about the time the meteorite crash-landed on Hamilton's bed. Upon hearing about the amazing discovery, scientists from the University of Calgary and the Western University in Ontario rushed over to examine the 2.8-pound (1.3 kg) space rock and look for other fragments. They found a 1.1-pound (0.5 kg) meteorite in a field about a mile away from Hamilton's house and believe there are many more. "We strongly expect that dozens of more meteorites will have fallen and encourage residents to be on the lookout," Alan Hildebrand, a planetary scientist at the University of Calgary, said in a statement.
The researchers also want residents to share with them any videos or photos from the October 3, 2021, night. "We're trying to reconstruct what the path was through the sky as it arrived," said Western University geophysicist Phil McCausland. "Because it's scientifically even more valuable if we can reconstruct what the orbit was before it hit the Earth. It gives us an idea of where it came from."
In an interview with iHeartRadio.ca, Chris Herd from the University of Alberta explained the significance of the unexpected gift from space. The geologist, who is not involved with studying the current meteorite, said, "It's like sending a mission, a multi-billion-dollar mission to an asteroid to bring a sample back, but it comes to us."
The charcoal grey boulder, nicknamed "Golden" is currently being analyzed by the researchers. Once done, they will return the precious space souvenir to Hamilton. Come to think of it, the meteorite may have been an early Halloween "treat" for Hamilton!
Resources: Space.com, Cnet.com, iheartradio.ca