Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Meteorite That Hit Cartersville House to be on Display at Tellus Science Museum

/PRNewswire/ -- A meteorite recently discovered in Georgia has a new home at Tellus Science Museum.

The meteorite arrived in loud fashion on March 8, 2009 with a sound a neighbor described as a sonic boom. It then tore a hole in the roof of a home in Cartersville, Georgia, before crashing through the ceiling and ending its cosmic journey on a bedroom floor. The house was unoccupied at the time.

The homeowner found the meteorite a few days later, but it wasn't until August of last year that it was brought meteorite to Tellus Science Museum for identification.

"People are constantly bringing things into the museum that they think are meteorites," said Tellus Curator Julian C. Gray. "Curators can go through their entire career and never see a real meteorite come through the door. It is a thrill to be part of the identification of the newest Georgia meteorite."

The homeowner, who asked to not be identified, decided to loan the 297 gram meteorite to Tellus where it will be on display along with part of the roof, an attic rafter, and part of the ceiling, all of which were struck by the meteorite.

"This is a significant addition to Tellus," said museum executive director Jose Santamaria. "Very few meteorites have been found in Georgia, and this is the first documented case of a meteorite hitting a house in our state. We are thrilled to have it on display at the museum where visitors can enjoy seeing this unique find."

The Cartersville Meteorite is only the 25th meteorite found in the state.

"Meteorite falls are equally likely to happen anywhere on the planet, but recovering them depends a lot on local conditions," said David Gheesling, a founding member of the Meteorite Association of Georgia, and a volunteer consultant to the museum. "The dense foliage of Georgia makes it hard to visibly locate meteorite specimens after they fall, and our humid environment is not friendly to meteorites."

Tellus Science Museum is located 40 minutes north of Atlanta in Cartersville. The world-class facility spans 120,000 square feet and features four galleries. For more information, visit www.tellusmuseum.org or call 770-606-5700.

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