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Bright fireball over southern Ontario expected to have dropped meteorites, Canada

ontario canada fireball april 18 2022

A bright fireball was observed by a network of all-sky cameras across southern Ontario, Canada at 05:37 UTC on April 18, 2022. Analysis of the video data suggests that fragments of the meteor are likely to have made it to the ground near the eastern shore of Lake Simcoe, just north of the town of Argyle.

Denis Vida, who specializes in the study of meteors, confirmed that more than a dozen all-sky cameras of Western’s Southern Ontario Meteor Network (SOMN) captured the event north of Toronto as did a number of citizen scientist-operated cameras from the Global Meteor Network (GMN).1

“This fireball was particularly significant because it was moving slowly, was on an asteroidal orbit and ended very low in the atmosphere. These are all good indicators that material survived,” says Vida, an astronomy postdoctoral associate.

In fact, the fireball was still producing light at just 29 km (18 miles) altitude.

Another factor that strongly favors the survival of meteorites includes the very steep entry angle (about 30 degrees from the vertical), Vida said.

“Taken together, these factors suggest many small meteorites have made it to the ground.”

This event is equally important because Western’s meteor research group has good-quality video data of its passage through the atmosphere so they can calculate the rock’s origin in our solar system.

Preliminary results indicate that the fireball first became visible at an altitude of 90 km (56 miles) and traveled almost due north.

“The initial mass is believed to have been around 10 kg (22 pounds) and we would expect tens to hundreds of grams of material on the ground,” Vida said.

“Meteorites are of great interest to researchers as studying them helps us to understand the formation and evolution of the solar system.”

ontario fireball april 18 2022 trajectory
Ontario fireball trajectory as projected by Western’s all-sky camera network. Credit: UWO
ontario fireball april 18 2022 tmeteorite fall zone
Ontario fireball April 18, 2022 – meteorite fall zone. Credit: UWO

Reference:

1 Bright fireball event near Lake Simcoe expected to have dropped meteorites – UWO – April 18, 2022

Featured image credit: UWO

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