Eastern Canada Meteor Event Confirmed

Written by The Night Sky Guy on November 28, 2013 – 7:10 pm -

If skies would have been clear Tuesday night then skywatchers might have witnessed a bright fireball like this one.

If skies would have been clear Tuesday night then skywatchers might have witnessed a bright fireball like this one.

Yes that loud sonic boom and flash of light in the sky on Tuesday night at 7:47 pm EST was indeed a meteor racing across the southern Ontario, eastern Quebec region.

Prof.Peter Brown, a leading expert on meteor physics at the University of Western Ontario reports that infrasonic microphones, part of the USArray network of seismological detectors across the continent detected the series of shockwaves produced by the break up of the meteor as it traveled at supersonic speeds across the region.

“From a very casual examination of the records from five of these stations, it appears the fireball went roughly north-south passing almost right over the Island of Montreal,” said Brown in an email statement.

According to the data, the meteor had energy- on the order of less than a ton of TNT at most, indicating that the space rock might have weighed in the tens of kilograms category, explained Brown.

In comparison, the Russian meteor event in February measured some 20 meters across and had enerrgy equivalent of more than 500 kilotons of TNT.


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Possible Meteor Rattles Ontario-Quebec Skies

Written by The Night Sky Guy on November 27, 2013 – 12:16 am -

fireball-bolide-fragments
Folks from Ottawa, Ontario through Laval, Quebec are reporting a blue flash of light followed by a sonic boom that occurred around 7:50 pm ET, November 26th.

This may be signs of a meteor event and could indicate the stone – which could be anywhere in size from a sofa to compact car- may have fragmented with some bits making it to the ground.  Scientists will comb through all the observation reports along with any photo and video evidence so that they can triangulate the trajectory of the possible meteor fall.

Thankfully this appears to be a minor event since there are no reports of any damage -not like what we saw earlier this year occur in Siberia where a 20 meter wide, 60 ton space rock exploded in the atmosphere and injured 1500.


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Montreal Meteor Last Night?

Written by The Night Sky Guy on January 8, 2010 – 12:59 pm -

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 : andrew@thenightskyguy.com 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.


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