Possibility of meteorites from bright fireball in Ontario


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Astronomers were successfully able to track and photograph a bright fireball over Canada early today, and think it is strongly possible that pieces of it might have hit the ground.

Preliminary results indicate that the fireball first became visible just south of Oshawa over Lake Ontario at an altitude of 93 km. It traveled over Clarington and passed just west of Peterborough before extinguishing just west of Bancroft. The fireball rivaled the full moon in brightness and had a number of bright flares near the end of its flight. The meteoroid was roughly the size of a small beachball (approx. 30cm in diameter) and likely dropped a small number of meteorite fragments in the tens to hundreds of grams size-range on the ground.

Brown and his collaborators at Western and the Royal Ontario Museum are interested in connecting with people from the area of the potential fall, who may have heard anything unusual, or who may have found possible meteorites.

…Meteorites can be recognized by their dark, often scalloped exterior. Usually they will be denser than a ‘normal’ rock and will often be attracted to a magnet due to their metal content. Meteorites are not dangerous, but if recovered, it is best to place them in a clean plastic bag or wrap them in aluminum foil. They should also be handled as little as possible to help preserve their scientific value. In Canada, meteorites belong to the owner of the land upon which they are found. If individuals plan to search, they should always obtain permission of the land-owner before venturing onto private land.

If you live up in that neck of the woods, take a look around. You might find something.

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2 comments

  • Edward

    One scientist’s recommendations for what to do if you find a meteorite.
    http://meteorites.wustl.edu/what_to_do.htm?mod=article_inline

    Pay particular attention to the rude admonishments, because in all likelihood:
    “I’m sorry, but you have not found a meteorite.”

    Amazingly: “most things that fall from the sky are not meteorites.“

  • Alex

    Dear Edward
    That link is a marvelous side track ! I enjoyed it immensely. Thanks.
    Although, > I < am an exception.
    I have this meteorite which I found not long ago on the outfield of our local high school ball field.
    It was still almost hot when I picked it up, heavy puppy. The surrounding turf was actually all scuffed up from its impact. I carefully brought it home and promptly wrapped it in tin, or what ever it is (Al?) foil, and am about to photo it and place it on ebay for auction.
    For you I can make a special price deal, as seen on late night TV. (is it TV anymore or what ?)
    There you are, special deal for you.

    Thanks again for the great link.

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