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January 17, 2019

Two New Jersey women may have found a meteorite while walking on the beach

The discovery occurred shortly after reports of a fireball on the East Coast

Odd News Space
jean muchanic nj meteorite @JeanMuchanic/Twitter

Jean Muchanic stands in the five-foot-wide crater found on Toms River beach last week, where she and her sister Nora think they found a meteorite.

Jean and Nora Muchanic, formerly a reporter for 6ABC, were walking along Toms River beach last week when they found a curious five-foot-wide hole in the sand – and a questionable rock at the center of it.

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The sisters told that the rock they found has some characteristics consistent with meteorites, specifically how the object's two surfaces differ in texture – one side is dull and smooth, and the other is rough and layered.

It's also dark black, they said, which made it stand out from a typical rock found from the ocean.

The discovery comes just shortly after nearly 600 people reported seeing a bright, falling fireball in the sky last Wednesday, including many in New Jersey who captured footage of the mysterious display. The American Meteor Society confirmed the fireball was caused by a meteor, burning very brightly as it passed through the Earth's atmosphere.

Some experts aren't sold that the rock the Muchanic sisters found is actually a meteorite, however. One physics professor, Joseph Trout of Stockton University, told that meteorites are usually found as disintegrated pieces, ranging in size from small pebbles to fist-size rocks.

Nonetheless, the sisters plan to soon take the rock to the Franklin Institute and see if the museum can identify it.

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