French Family's Home Hit by 4.5-Billion-Year-Old Meteorite

More rare than hitting the lottery, notes resident, who won't sell the celestial rock

By Greg Wilson
|  Thursday, Oct 13, 2011  |  Updated 11:33 AM EDT
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French Family's Home Hit by 4.5-Billion-Year-Old Meteorite

ASSOCIATED PRESS

A meteorite like this one struck a French family's house, causing the roof to leak.

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A French family whose tile roof started leaking discovered a 4.5-billion-year-old meteor the size of an egg had fallen all the way down from an asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter and come to rest in their attic insulation.

Martine Comette, who lives in the home in a Paris suburb said the discovery was made by a man called to fix the leaky rook.

"We got the roof tiler [to come over] and he was astounded," she told the Telegraph. "He said: 'You need to be Superman to break a tile like that! It must be a meteorite.'"

Meteor expert Alain Carion examined the rock, known as a "chondrite," and quickly identified it by the "black fusion crust that characterizes the crossing of the Earth's atmosphere".

He said the three-ounce meteorite is around 4.57 billion years old and came from an asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.

"It's incredibly rare. We have never found any less than 80km (50 miles) from Paris before," he told Le Parisien.

Comette, a French government worker, said the family was on vacation when the meteorite hit and therefore never heard it crash through the roof.

"A meteorite landing [on your house] is magical and more unlikely than winning the Lottery," she told Le Parisien.

France gets hit with the most meteorites per capita of any country in the world. The biggest ever found in the country was a 330-pounder in southwestern France, which would do a lot more damage than casing a leaky roof.

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