Ice chunk that crashed through home was atmospheric ice27/ 01/ 2010 a las 4:34 | Publicado en Casuística, Daños, Materiales, megacriometeoros, Personales | Comentarios desactivados en Ice chunk that crashed through home was atmospheric ice
By TERESA ANN BOECKEL
Daily Record/Sunday News
Updated: 01/27/2010 07:20:03 AM EST
It was plain atmospheric ice — known as a megacryometeor — that crashed through Perry and Mary Ann Foster’s York Township home and hit her on the head in the fall of 2008.
That’s what York College professor Bill Kreiger determined after studying the pieces of ice that the Fosters gave him to research what it was.
The college’s biology department still is working on growing cultures from the ice and analyzing them, he said.
These ice balls are similar to hail stones — except that they form when skies are clear, he said. The humidity in the air adds water to the ice pieces as they are caught in the up and down drafts in the atmosphere.
The ice pieces coalesce to form the megacryometeors, Kreiger said. When they get too heavy, they fall to earth.
Just like hail stones, the ice balls reveal rings when they’re cut open, indicating how many times they bounced up and down in the atmosphere.
In the case of the chunk that crashed through the roof of the Fosters’ home, it was probably at least eight to 10 times.
Scientists need to do more study on how and why these ice balls form, Kreiger said. He plans to share this case with scientists in Spain who are studying megacryometeors.
“We need to learn more about our atmosphere,” he said.
These ice balls are common, but “they don’t go through a house every day,” Kreiger said.
Attempts to reach the Fosters were unsuccessful Tuesday evening.
Mary Ann Foster was asleep when the chunk of ice crashed throughtheir roof and hit her on the head. The couple wondered about the foul odor that the ice gave off.
Kreiger said it was from atmospheric pollution and from crashing through the home. The clear pieces of ice had splinters of wood and pink shreds of insulation stuck to them.