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October 9, 1992 – Meteorite hits a Chevrolet Malibu

Something out of this world happened on this day in 1992 when a meteorite struck a parked 1980 Chevrolet Malibu. The Peekskill meteorite is one of the most historic meteor events in recent history.  It’s entrance into earth’s atmosphere was witnessed by thousands of people across the eastern half of the United States. The meteor broke up as it crossed over Kentucky before moving over West Virginia and Pennsylvania in a north-northeast direction. It was traveling at 8.8 miles per second before being slowed to 164 mph at the time of impact after entering earth’s atmosphere. Michelle Knapp, the 18 year old owner of the red Chevrolet Malibu, had purchased the car for $300. It was parked outside her home when she heard what she described as a three car crash. She ran outside to see what happened and discovered her trunk had a hole in it! She then found the meteor, weighing 26 pounds, in an impact crater underneath the car, where it barely missed the gas tank. After her car became part of history she sold it to meteorite collector and dealer Al Lang for $10,000. The sulfur smelling meteorite was collected and sold by Knapp to a three dealer conglomerate for $69,000. Today the car and the main mass of the meteorite, which was found to be 4.4 billion years old, are housed at the Macovich Collection of Meteorites. Parts of the meteorite are also at the American History Museum and the Field Museum in Chicago. Pic: Michelle Knapp with her Malibu

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