On the night of February 20th at about 6:15 pm, the evening sky was lit up across southern Ontario by a small meteor, otherwise known as a shooting star. Reports indicate that it may have been a baseball to basketball size space rock that burned up in the upper atmosphere at least 30 km in altitude. Events like these are not all that uncommon, but when they occur over populated areas during evening hours they do get noticed by hundreds if not thousands of people. Usually meteors are sand grain sized material that hits Earth’s atmosphere at high speeds and get burned up completely before ever hitting the ground. Sometimes larger rocks can produce what is known as a bolide – a bright fireball with a trail of smoke – and can actually make it to the ground. From the many dozens of accounts I have received it appears the February 20th meteor fall put on quite a light show.
Eyewitness from Ottawa region say it appeared as a bright flash nearly overhead while observers in the Toronto area describe a bright yellow/orange coloured streak lasting 2 to 5 seconds about 30 to 40 degrees above the southeastern horizon – heading south. So far there are no indications that any fragments made it to the ground.
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