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Field Museum scientists in Chicago studying Michigan meteor seen in WI

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CHICAGO — Scientists at Chicago’s Field Museum are studying a piece of the meteor that broke apart earlier this month over Michigan.

The meteorite, the size of a peach pit, arrived Wednesday. NASA scientists say the 6-foot-wide meteor broke apart about 20 miles over Earth on Jan. 16. It created a bright light and what sounded like thunder in the sky.

Museum associate curator Philipp Heck believes the meteorite came from an asteroid orbiting between Mars and Jupiter. Meteorite hunter Robert Ward found it on a snow-covered lake near Hamburg, Michigan, and donated it to the Field Museum.

A meteoroid is a small chunk of asteroid or comet. When it enters Earth’s atmosphere it becomes a meteor, fireball or shooting star. The pieces of rock that hit the ground are meteorites.

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