An Indonesian man became wealthy “overnight” after a precious meteor worth nearly two million dollars shattered on his balcony.
“When I took it, the stone was still warm, and I brought it home,” Joshua Hotagalong told the local news site kompas of the sudden discovery. The 33-year-old coffin maker was reported to be working next to his home in Sumatra last August, when an expensive sliver of space shattered his balcony.
“The sound was so loud that parts of the house were shaking as well,” Hutagalung said. “After I searched, I saw that the roof of the house made of tin was smashed.” A video clip he posted on his Facebook account shows the location of the meteor, which weighs about 2.2 kg, penetrating the balcony before burying itself several inches in the dirt.
Hutagalung said he suspected the object was a meteorite “because it is impossible for someone to deliberately throw it or drop it from above.”
The British newspaper “Daily Mail” reported that the part that made a fortune, which is estimated at 4.5 billion years old, is likely to be more than enough to put a new roof on the house of the coffin maker. It was classified as CM1 / 2 carbon chondrite, which is an extremely rare type, and the space rock was valued at $ 850 per gram, or a total of $ 1,858,556.
Hutagalung was reportedly paid the equivalent of a 30-year salary for his discovery, which he said would use to set up a church in his community.
He told the British newspaper “The Sun”: “I have always wanted a daughter, and I hope this is a sign that I will be lucky enough now to have one.”
The event changed Hotagalong’s life somewhat, as he became a local celebrity and scores of people flocked to his home to see “The Next Star Lottery Ticket.” “A lot of people came out of curiosity, wanting to see the stone,” Hotagalong noted.
The meteorite was purchased by Jay Beatick, a physician and meteorite collector from Indianapolis. Jared Collins, an American meteorologist, also acquired a portion of the space rock in order to work on it with scientists and collectors in the United States.
Three more pieces of the meteorite, officially called “kulang”, were discovered nearby, with one of them falling into a rice field less than 5 miles from the home of the Hutagalong.
The Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston, Texas, estimated that the space rock weighed about 5.5 pounds before disintegrating, according to the Daily Mail.
It is extremely rare to see meteorites land in populated areas, said Thomas Jamaluddin, head of Indonesias National Institute of Aeronautics and Space.
He added, “The amount of rock waste resulting from the formation of the solar system is very large in space. Most meteorites are located in locations far from settlements, such as oceans, forests or deserts.”
Now the space object parts are kept at the Center for Meteorite Studies at Arizona State University, USA, and are up for sale again on eBay, and every gram is being offered for $ 1,000.
Source: New York Post