Monthly Archives: March 2014

Bright, Basketball Sized Meteor in Ontario

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Researchers from Western University have released footage of a basketball-sized meteor that was almost as bright as the full moon.

The meteor lit up the skies of southwestern Ontario last week. Astronomers are hoping to enlist the help of local residents in recovering one or more possible meteorites that may have crashed in the area just north of St. Thomas, Ontario.

Meteorites may best be recognized by their dark and scalloped exterior, and are usually denser than normal rock and will often attract a fridge magnet due to their metal content. In this fall, meteorites may be found in a small hole produced by their dropping into soil. Meteorites are not dangerous, but any recovered meteorites should be placed in a clean plastic bag or container and be handled as little as possible to preserve their scientific information.

More details can be found at  http://meteor.uwo.ca/research/fireball/events/st_thomas/overview.html

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 Credit: The University of Western Ontario

NASA Cameras Capture Another Fireball

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A bright fireball was detected at extreme range (hundreds of kilometers) by two NASA meteor cameras located at the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute (PARI) in North Carolina, and at Hiram College in Ohio. At such distances (286 miles in the case of the PARI camera), trajectory determination is quite difficult.

The fireball was first detected on February 27 at 7:07:58 PM EST at an altitude of 50 miles above the town of Montibello, Virginia, moving SW towards Roanoke with a speed of around 33,500 mph. Our cameras lost track around an altitude of 43 miles as the fireball disappeared below the horizon, though it undoubtedly penetrated lower. Magnitude was approximately -8.5, which is brighter than the crescent Moon. Taking into account the speed, we are dealing with an object roughly 1 foot in diameter and weighing approximately 50 lbs.