Meteorite Crash in Southeastern British Columbia

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Hao Qin captured this fireball that produced meteorites on the ground from Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada, on October 3, 2021 at 11:33pm PDT. © Hao Qin https://unsplash.com/@singlepinkc

Note: This article was originally published by Western University at:  https://mediarelations.uwo.ca/2021/10/12/golden-meteorite/ on October 12, 2021.

After a meteorite fragment smashed through a residential roof last weekend, Western University meteorite experts are seeking the public’s assistance in sharing privately-held video footage from smart phones, dashboard cams or security cameras that may have captured a fireball passing through the sky over southeastern British Columbia last Sunday evening (October 3, 2021) at 11:33pm local time.

Alan Hildebrand, a planetary scientist in the Department of Geoscience at the University of Calgary, and his collaborators had completed a preliminary fireball trajectory solution and predicted the location of the meteorite fall in Golden, British Columbia before the fragment was recovered.

The estimated trajectory of the meteor would have been visible throughout southeastern British Columbia and central and southern Alberta.

Peter Brown, Canada Research Chair in planetary small bodies, and his collaborators at the Institute for Earth and Space Exploration (Western Space) and the department of physics and astronomy have teamed with researchers at the University of Calgary to analyze the meteorite fragment, which crashed through a resident’s roof and hit a bed in Golden, British Columbia.

The pan-Canadian investigative team are now asking the public for help in locating more videos of the fireball, which delivered the meteorite.

“We are asking people in Golden, Kelowna and Cranbrook and all places in between to check their home and business security cameras as soon as possible as some may automatically delete important files in the next few days,” said Brown. “Video footage from smart phones, dashboard cams, and security cameras are vitally important in tracking the origin of this meteor, and by knowing its origin, we’ll have a much better chance at telling a complete story of this incredible astronomical event.”

Hildebrand and a team member searched the predicted strewn field on the weekend and located another smaller meteorite on a residential roadside.

“We strongly expect that dozens of more meteorites will have fallen, and encourage residents to be on the lookout as they do their yard work and walk in the indicated strewn field area,” said Hildebrand.

The meteorites are irregularly shaped, have a dark gray egg-shell-thickness crust with a light gray interior, dense, and are attracted to a magnet. Recovering more specimens before snow falls will increase their research value.

“Golden and its surrounding area is not heavily populated so there are not many cameras pointing towards the sky,” said Brown. “We know it flew overhead Golden the evening of October 3rd at 11:33 pm, but we need more video footage to determine its flight path.” If anyone has video footage or images they would like to share, they are encouraged to reach out to the Western Meteor Physics Group at wmpg@groups.uwo.ca

If anyone has found a rock in the indicated strewn field area that matches a meteorite description, they are encouraged to send images (against a dark background with a scale) to ahildebr@ucalgary.ca for identification.

MEDIA CONTACT: Jeff Renaud, Senior Media Relations Officer, 519-661-2111, ext. 85165, 519-520-7281 (mobile), jrenaud9@uwo.ca

REFERENCES: Article copied and shared as a scientific public service from: https://mediarelations.uwo.ca/2021/10/12/golden-meteorite/

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