SYLACAUGA, Ala. – Some meteor scientists are predicting a slight chance of a rare meteor shower taking place tonight.

The shower should be visible across eastern North America.

Two meteor scientists, Peter Jenniskens and Esko Lyytinen, gave their forecast for an outpouring by the alpha Monocertoid at 10:50 p.m.

The alpha Monocertoid usually happens this time of year, but normally produces very few meteors outside of a few exceptions. The most recent being 1995.

If experts’ projections are correct, sky watchers can expect to see numerous meteors flying in the air each minute.

This projected shower happens right around the 65th anniversary of a local woman being struck by a meteor.

On. Nov. 30, 1954, Ann Hodges was said to be napping peacefully in her home, now Oak Grove, when a meteor, which was originally investigated as a Unidentified Flying Object, crashed through the roof of her Oak Grove home, bounced off of a radio and hit her arm and leg.

On that day, Hodges became the first person ever in recorded history to be hit by a meteorite. Hodges was taken to a doctor’s office for examination. Although Hodges’ hip was severely bruised, an X-ray showed that there was no serious damage.

The rock that hit Hodges weighed eight and a half pounds and measured around seven inches in length.

Once news spread that a rock crashed through Hodges’ house in the midst of the Cold War, it was quickly taken by the United States Air Force in order to find its origin. Even though geologist George Swindel examined it on scene and declared that it was in fact a meteorite, the rock made its way to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio where it was tested by guided missile experts. They determined it was not a weapon. The object was eventually determined to be a meteorite by government officials.

After all of the tests, the meteorite would eventually be returned to Ann Hodges.  Today the famous “Hodges Meteorite” is displayed at the Alabama Museum of Natural History in Smith Hall at the University of Alabama. Another piece of the meteorite was found one day after it plowed into Earth on a dirt road in Sylacauga. That piece of the meteorite is displayed at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C.

Today, a historical marker sits in Oak Grove representing the significance of the event. It is located on Old Hwy. 280 and was erected in 2010.


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