University of Western Ontario cameras capture 'fireball'

Oct 24, 2008

For the second time this year, The University of Western Ontario Meteor Group has captured incredibly rare video footage of a meteor falling to Earth. The team of astronomers suspects the fireball dropped meteorites in a region north of Guelph, Ontario, Canada, that may total as much as a few hundred grams in mass.

The Physics and Astronomy Department at Western has a network of all-sky cameras in southern Ontario that scan the sky monitoring for meteors.

On Wednesday, October 15 at 5:28 a.m., all seven cameras of Western's Southern Ontario Meteor Network recorded a bright, slow fireball in the predawn sky.

Associate Professor Peter Brown and Phil McCausland, a postdoctoral researcher in Planetary Science, are hoping to enlist the help of local residents in recovering one or more possible meteorites that may have crashed.

"This event was a relatively slow fireball that made it far into the Earth's atmosphere. Most meteoroids burn up by the time they hit an altitude of 60 or 70 kilometres from the ground," explains McCausland, who is heading to the region next week to investigate. "This one was tracked by our all-sky camera network to have penetrated to an altitude of about 37 kilometres and it slowed down considerably, so there is a possibility that at least one and possibly several small meteorites made it to the ground."

By knowing the trajectory from the camera observations, the researchers can also track backwards to get the orbit of the object before it hit the Earth.

"The meteorite was on a typical Earth-crossing asteroid-type orbit, so we also expect that it is a stony-type meteorite," says McCausland.

In March, the network of all-sky cameras captured video of a meteor falling to Earth that may have crashed in the Parry Sound area.

Source: University of Western Ontario

Explore further: SDO captures images of two mid-level flares

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

What exploded over Russia?

Feb 27, 2013

When the sun rose over Russia's Ural Mountains on Friday, Feb. 15th, many residents of nearby Chelyabinsk already knew that a space rock was coming. Later that day, an asteroid named 2012 DA14 would pass ...

Russia meteor not linked to asteroid flyby

Feb 17, 2013

New information provided by a worldwide network of sensors has allowed scientists to refine their estimates for the size of the object that entered that atmosphere and disintegrated in the skies over Chelyabinsk, ...

The fireballs of February

Feb 23, 2012

In the middle of the night on February 13th, something disturbed the animal population of rural Portal, Georgia. Cows started mooing anxiously and local dogs howled at the sky. The cause of the commotion was ...

Draconid meteor outburst

Oct 05, 2011

On October 8th Earth is going to plow through a stream of dust from Comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner, and the result could be an outburst of Draconid meteors.

High confidence meteorite fall in Northeast Ohio

Aug 18, 2011

On August 8 at 1:22 Eastern Daylight Time, 4 all sky cameras belonging to the Southern Ontario Meteor Network detected a fireball entering the atmosphere 54 miles above Lake Erie (80.944 W, 41.945 N), moving ...

Recommended for you

SDO captures images of two mid-level flares

Dec 19, 2014

The sun emitted a mid-level flare on Dec. 18, 2014, at 4:58 p.m. EST. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, which watches the sun constantly, captured an image of the event. Solar flares are powerful bursts ...

Why is Venus so horrible?

Dec 19, 2014

Venus sucks. Seriously, it's the worst. The global temperature is as hot as an oven, the atmospheric pressure is 90 times Earth, and it rains sulfuric acid. Every part of the surface of Venus would kill you ...

Image: Christmas wrapping the Sentinel-3A antenna

Dec 19, 2014

The moment a team of technicians, gowned like hospital surgeons, wraps the Sentinel-3A radar altimeter in multilayer insulation to protect it from the temperature extremes found in Earth orbit.

Video: Flying over Becquerel

Dec 19, 2014

This latest release from the camera on ESA's Mars Express is a simulated flight over the Becquerel crater, showing large-scale deposits of sedimentary material.

Spinning up a dust devil on Mars

Dec 19, 2014

Spinning up a dust devil in the thin air of Mars requires a stronger updraft than is needed to create a similar vortex on Earth, according to research at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH).

User comments : 3

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

bobwinners
5 / 5 (1) Oct 25, 2008
IT sure would be nice if this article included a link to a site where we could see the video!
Al3
not rated yet Oct 25, 2008
You would think that they would put a link to the video in the article. Here's a link to it and another version of the story with pictures.

http://aquarid.ph...ct15.htm

http://www.scienc...4136.htm
Soulfilet
not rated yet Apr 29, 2009
I saw a fireball come down 19 Jan 09 north of Toronto after sundown. It probably reached the ground, as it was growing brighter and spitting off orange sparks when it disappeared behind buildings on the horizon. I'd be interested in comparing notes with other witnesses... chevy87@rogers.com

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.