Science

Bright Fireball Likely Littered Lakeside Region With Meteorites

The Sunday night sky over Ontario was lit up by literal fire in the sky, which probably then dropped actual space rocks on the ground.

The cause was an apparent meteor burning up in a spectacular fireball that streaked through the atmosphere before midnight.

A network of all-sky cameras in the southern part of the province caught the final moments of the meteoroid from multiple angles, compiled in the video below:

Scientists from Western University in Ontario analyzed all the video data and suspect that fragments of the meteor may have made it to the ground near the eastern shore of Lake Simcoe, about 60 miles (100 kilometers) north of Toronto.

“This fireball was particularly significant because it was moving slowly, was on an asteroidal orbit and ended very low in the atmosphere. These are all good indicators that material survived,” explains Denis Vida, an astronomy postdoctoral associate.

Vida adds that the fireball came at our planet at a very steep entry angle and continued to burn bright as it scorched within just 18 miles (29 kilometers) of the surface.

“Taken together, these factors suggest many small meteorites have made it to the ground,” says Vida.

Specifically, the team puts the meteorites on the ground somewhere in the fields and wooded areas north of the town of Argyle, should you be looking to go on an expedition.

“Meteorites are of great interest to researchers as studying them helps us to understand the formation and evolution of the solar system,” says Vida.

He estimates the meteor probably weighed about 22 pounds (1o kilograms) when it first struck the atmosphere and started burning up, leaving just tens or hundreds of grams of material to fall on the ground.

Over two dozen witnesses submitted reports of the fireball as it flew north over the eastern Great Lakes region.

If you do decide to get ambitious and going looking for some meteorites, keep in mind that you’ll want to check with property owners before searching. In Canada, meteorites are the property of the land owners where they fall.


Source link

Related Articles

Back to top button