So, Has A Meteorite Really Landed Here in the Hudson Valley?
You may have heard about the bright fireball that was seen all over the eastern part of the country late Sunday evening? Some outlets, such as the Gothamist, claim the space rock actually crashed somewhere in the area. Hundreds of reports poured in from witnesses all over the east coast at around 7:22 P.M. that evening. The American Meteor Society says the fireball's visible light trail ended somewhere over Poughkeepsie, according to the reports they received. Anyone feel anything shake?
As of now, there is no actual evidence of this. Doesn't mean it isn't true, but is no "smoking gun" to speak of. Chances are, the fireball simply disintegrated in mid-air. It actually happens a lot more than you may think. Wikipedia says an estimated 15,000 tons of space debris enter the planet's atmosphere every day. A huge majority never makes it to the ground. Many fizzle out or explode in the upper atmosphere without anyone ever hearing about it. Scientists do say a meteor may have exploded high above New York state in late 2019, causing an eerie greenish light to be seen in the sky that night, according to the many reports in the Saratoga area.
However, once a meteor strikes the surface it officially becomes a meteorite. Has it happened in the Hudson Valley? More than likely, many times. But one particular cosmic incident from 1992 stands out. It would become one of the most historic meteorite events ever documented.
On October 9, 1992, a meteorite struck a parked 1980 Chevrolet Malibu in Peekskill. Yes, this really happened. You may have seen some of the footage on the news back then. While there were no smart phones in 1992, plenty of home video recorders captured the bright ball of green light, as it traveled in the night sky, across the eastern U.S.. When it landed, the meteorite was about a foot across and weighed nearly 28 pounds. All that light came from an object that small? Imagine what some of much bigger ones could do?
The car's owner was a 17 year-old girl, who was in her home at the time of impact. She described the noise as sounding like a car crash. When she went to investigate, she found the meteorite on her car, which she described as still warm and smelling of sulfur. Wikipedia says she later to sold the vehicle to the wife of a meteorite collector, and the pieces of the rock have been put on display at many museums and collections around the world.