Colo. family finds softball-size meteorite

Oct. 12, 2004 at 5:02 PM
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BERTHOUD, Colo., Oct. 12 (UPI) -- A Colorado family has witnessed the fifth confirmed sighting of a meteorite's impact in the state since 1924 -- and has a softball-size rock to prove it.

John and Meghan Whiteis and their son, Casper, saw a streak of light in the sky Oct. 5, which was accompanied by a great wooshing sound followed by a thud. The event turned out to be a meteor traveling faster than 100 mph before it hit the ground 75 feet from their Berthoud, Colo., home, the Rocky Mountain News reported.

The Whiteises appeared Monday with a panel of geologists and astronomers from the University of Colorado.

"This came from outer space," said planetary scientist Nick Schneider after inspecting the rock. "It probably took a million years to get here. If you're feeling a little bit old, just come and touch this and it'll put things in perspective."

A team of scientists plans to search a four-square-mile area around the impact site for additional fragments.

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