This morning I have been fielding media calls and getting reports from skywatchers about a possible meteor-fireball seen over the Montreal city skies last night, Thursday at 7:30 pm. Most descriptions say that it was a bluish-green fireball that appeared to go in and out of the clouds, with bits splitting off, all occurring in just a matter of a second or two. This is consistent with what astronomers call a bolide – a space rock coming through the atmosphere at about 20 km per second and ionizing anywhere 5 to 100 km in altitude. How big was the meteor itself? They can be anywhere from the size of a baseball to a sofa. We will have to wait to see if there were any photos or video taken of the event- which astronomers could use to determine if and where there might be any meteorites on the ground.
Here is a snippet of what witnesses are saying…”I saw it. There were some clouds but not much, it didn’t obstruct my view and it was going towards Orion’s belt which was very clear in the sky last night between 19h40 and 19h50. It’s trajectory was horizontal but slightly downward and still far from falling. The color was fluorescent green and what seems to me to be as big as a basketball with a small trail. I saw it coming from over Montreal all the way across the sky to towards St-Basile-Le-Grand. So although it only lasted a few seconds, I had a good look.” -Edith – St.Bruno
“As I was driving home last night through St-Eustache, Quebec I chanced to look out my left window. I was shocked to see a bright bluish green fireball or meteorite with a beautiful tail flying through the sky which lasted several seconds. Just before it extinguished there was a small bit that broke off.” – Renee, St-Eustache.
Did you see the meteor last night? If so, send me a report in the comments link below or even photos or videos at : firstname.lastname@example.org If it was anything like the one seen over Toronto-Hamilton skyline on Sept.25th last year – there may even be some chunks that may have landed. Check out this video of the Ontario/Grimsby meteor (size of a tricycle)- the Montreal one should have put on a similar show. This footage was taken by a seven all-sky video cameras set up by meteor researchers at University of Western Ontario.
In past events like these, security cameras in parking lots for instance, may have recorded something. Also police car dashcams can make amazing records of fireballs like this one. Check out this video made in November 20, 2008 from a cop car in Edmonton, Alberta. It would be wonderful to get footage like this from Thursday’s event.
Tags: bolide, fireball
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