Meteor the size of pork roll sandwich crashes through New Jersey home

The meteor, roughly 15.24 centimeters or six inches in size, is believed to be part of the Eta Aquarid meteor shower. Despite damage to the home, no injuries were reported.

 Illustration of an asteroid heading towards Earth (photo credit: PEAKPX)
Illustration of an asteroid heading towards Earth
(photo credit: PEAKPX)

A meteor roughly the size of the iconic New Jersey pork roll sandwich crashed into a home in Hopewell Township, New Jersey on Monday, smashing through the roof and ceiling before landing on the hardwood floor, according to local authorities.

The meteor managed to impact the Earth and crash into a house all while nobody was home, according to local CBS affiliate KYW.  

"It appears whatever came from the sky fell through the roof of the top window that's my dad's bedroom," Suzy Kop, whose house it hit, told KYW.

She explained that when the meteor crashed through into the home, they first thought that someone had thrown a rock, before realizing what it actually was.

"We are thinking it's a meteorite, [that] came through here, hit the floor here because that's completely damaged, it ricocheted up to this part of the ceiling and then finally rested on the floor there."

These reports were later confirmed by local police.

Understanding the meteor that hit New Jersey home

Police noted that the meteor measured to be around four inches by six inches. In the metric system, that comes out to about 10.16 centimeters by 15.24 centimeters.

 A Taylor ham sandwich – or a pork roll sandwich, depending where in New Jersey you live (Illustrative) (credit: Wikimedia Commons) A Taylor ham sandwich – or a pork roll sandwich, depending where in New Jersey you live (Illustrative) (credit: Wikimedia Commons)

To use a more New Jersey-appropriate measurement, consider the pork roll sandwich, or the Taylor ham sandwich depending on which part of New Jersey you're from. The meat in question is typically served as part of a breakfast sandwich, which can be about six inches in diameter. In other words, a meteor that hit New Jersey was roughly the size of the state's most iconic dish.

Aside from damage to the home, however, the meteor impact didn't result in any casualties and posed no danger to any lives.

Why did a meteor impact a home in New Jersey?

Meteor impacts happen fairly often and this is far from the only recent example.

Some other high-profile cases include a Corgi-sized meteor that impacted Texas, several meteors that impacted Maine and a meteor that exploded over Israel.

However, in this particular case, there may be a very specific reason why it happened.

According to police, the meteor is believed to be part of the Eta Aquarid meteor shower.

A meteor shower is when a number of meteors end up passing into the Earth's atmosphere. These meteors typically come from a parent asteroid or comet and because of the orbits of these bodies, they can be fairly regularly predicted. 

The Eta Aquarid meteor shower is one of these regular meteor showers, peaking in early May each year. These meteors don't come from an asteroid, but rather from the comet 1P/Halley, also known as Halley's Comet, the most famous comet of all. Debris from this comet comes to Earth twice a year, once in May for the Eta Aquarids and another time in October for the Orionids.

When these meteors hit the atmosphere, they end up flying through the sky at extremely high speeds, but end up burning up in the atmosphere, leaving colorful streaks of light in the night sky.

The Eta Aquarids, in particular, are known for their speed, with NASA noting that their meteors fly at speeds of around 66 kilometers per second, which is around 200 times the speed of sound.

The odds of one such meteor actually surviving the trip down to the Eart his incredibly rare, but it can still happen.

What is a meteor?Meteors originate from asteroids or other large bodies in space. Asteroids under a meter in size are simply known as meteoroids.

When meteoroids or very small asteroids impact the Earth's atmosphere, they become visible but largely disintegrate, sometimes forming bright fireballs in the process. Anything left upon impact is what is known as a meteorite.

This explosion is what usually befalls most meteors that enter the Earth's atmosphere.

Has this happened before?

The incident in New Jersey is similar to what happened back in November, when an object thought to be a meteor that was part of the Taurid meteor shower struck a home in Nevada County, California. In that particular incident, someone was home, resident Dustin Procita along with his two dogs. However, that meteor was far more destructive, destroying the home and killing one of the dogs, according to local NBC affiliate KCRA.

However, aside from the damage that could be caused by a meteor actually landing, the rocks themselves aren't dangerous at all and cool extremely quickly after landing. They aren't radioactive or necessarily contaminated either.

A meteor or asteroid would have to be much larger to cause any significant damage to the planet.