Space Rock Smashes Into Doctor's Office

Meteorite showed up, despite not having an appointment

A Lorton, Va., doctor now has another reason to look over his shoulder after a space rock came crashing through the ceiling of his office.

According to the Washington Post, the close encounter happened Monday afternoon in the Williamsburg Square Family Practice on Richmond Highway.

"I was in my office doing charts," Ciampi told the Post. "And I heard a loud boom, almost like a small explosion."

Ciampi scrambled into the hall, where he saw a mess of wood, plaster and insulation. Among the debris lay a smooth rock the size of a tennis ball. There was a hole in the ceiling where the space rock apparently made its entrance.

The Smithsonian Institution's Museum of Natural History confirmed that it was indeed a meteorite, according to the Post.

"The first thing we look at is what's called the fusion crust on the outside," planetary scientist Cari Corrigan told the paper. "It's kind of a black, shiny coating, because when it passes through the atmosphere, it's melting a little at a time. So it's like an outer layer of glass, of melted rock."

The Baltimore Sun reported that people from New Jersey to southern Virginia reported seeing a bright meteor fall, followed by a smoke trail. The Baltimore Sun said its WeatherBlog received more than 100 reports of the fall.

The meteorite weighs about half a pound, and it likely smashed into the roof at a whopping 220 mph, Corrigan told the Post. And it turns out, space rocks hit earth "fairly often."

"We're bombarded by stuff like that all the time," Corrigan told the Post, but there's one key difference: Usually meteorites land in one of Earth's vast, uninhabited spaces.

In doctor's offices? Not so much.

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