Only a month ago, a series of all-sky cameras in the Canadian region of southern Ontario captured a long-lasting meteorite fireball as it streaked across the skies. Last night it was the turn of the central province of Saskatchewan to see the spectacular fireball of a meteroid dropping through the atmosphere. According to eye witnesses, the intense light lit up the dark skies and a series of thunderous booms shook the ground.
Another day living in the interplanetary shooting gallery I suppose…
These incredible images were captured by Andy Bartlett who was able to video-record the dazzling event from his 10th-floor apartment in Edmonton, Alberta. With some fast thinking, Bartlett grabbed his Canon A510 and captured the rare re-entry. “The brilliant fireball appeared to be closer than the airplane in the upper right corner of this video,” he said.
At first, it was assumed the fireball may have been attributed to a re-entering piece of rocket from a Soyuz launch on November 14th. The Russian Defense Ministry had launched the reconnaissance satellite codenamed Kosmos-2445. However, it would appear that any rocket debris left over from Soyuz is still being tracked in space and has not re-entered. The Saskatchewan fireball is therefore assumed to be a naturally occurring meteoroid, possibly as large as a grapefruit.
Additional footage of the fireball was captured by the local news showing the re-entry via a security camera. Also, an Edmonson police car captured the bright explosion on the horizon (as pictured above).
The fireball re-entered at 5:30pm MST and could be watched for several seconds as it descended before a series of explosions and then fragmentation. “The sky was lit up almost like daytime for 3 or 4 seconds,” said Gordon Blomgren, another eye witness in Alberta.
The light was accompanied by a powerful rumbling a while later (as with thunderstorms, the lightning is seen first and the thunder rolls in a while later). In northwestern Saskatchewan, Murray McDonnell describes what he saw and heard: “My wife and I saw a brilliant flash of blue white light, like lightning. About one minute later a long rumbling sound shook the house.”
Although it would appear the disintegrating meteor may have scattered debris on the ground, scientists aren’t sure. Analysis of eye-witness accounts from different locations (triangulation) may help meteorite hunters derive the possible impact zone, but as yet, there are no reports of any meteorite debris being found.
Source: Space Weather