French woman hit by a meteorite while having coffee on terrace
According to the French newspaper Les Dernieres Nouvelles d'Alsace (DNA), the woman was hit in the ribs by a mysterious pebble
In an extremely rare astronomical event, a French woman was hit by a meteorite while having coffee on terrace with her friend, the media reported.
According to French newspaper Les Dernieres Nouvelles d'Alsace (DNA), the woman was hit in the ribs by a mysterious pebble.
"I heard a big 'Poom' coming from the roof next to us. In the second that followed, I felt a shock on the ribs. I thought it was an animal, a bat!" the woman was quoted as saying.
"We thought it was a piece of cement, the one we apply to the ridge tiles. But it didn't have the colour."
To understand what stuck her she got the rock checked by a local roofer who suggested it to be a meteorite. Following this, she got the rock examined by geologist Dr Thierry Rebmann, who confirmed its extra-terrestrial origins.
The rock appeared to contain a mixture of iron and silicon, and could be a meteorite, Rebmann was quoted as saying to the local paper. All the pieces of the meteorite that have been recovered weighed more than 100 gms, the report said.
The geologist added that the phenomenon of people being struck by such objects is extremely rare. Meteorites are "space rocks" that survive their journey through the Earth's atmosphere and hit the ground.
These objects -- known as meteoroids when they are in space -- range in size from dust grains to small asteroids. Almost 50 tonnes of meteoritic material is estimated to fall to Earth every day, according to NASA.
"It's very rare, in our temperate environments, to find them," Rebmann was quoted as saying.
"They merge with other elements. On the other hand, in a desert environment, we can find them more easily." The first confirmed case of a meteorite directly striking a person occurred in the US in 1954, where a woman was struck by an 3.6 kg stony meteorite that crashed through her roof, leaving her with severe bruising.