LONDON – Astronomers from a southwestern Ontario university are seeking the public’s help to find meteorites that may have crashed near St. Thomas, Ont.
Researchers from Western University say a basketball-sized meteor that was almost as bright as the full moon lit up the skies of southwestern Ontario this week.
Western astronomers are now hoping for help from local residents in recovering one or more possible meteorites that may have crashed just north of St. Thomas.
Western’s faculty of science has a network of all-sky cameras in southern Ontario that scan the atmosphere monitoring for meteors.
Hunt is on for fragments of meteorite widely seen over S. Ontario. Video captured by #UWO cam network. https://t.co/mH2yGQLStV
— John Vennavally-Rao (@jvrCTV) March 21, 2014
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Explaining meteors and meteorites
Peter Brown, who specializes in the study of meteors and meteorites, says that on the evening of March 18 a long-lasting fireball was detected by seven all-sky cameras.
Read More: Explaining meteors and meteorites
The brilliant fireball started near Port Dover, Ont., at a height of 75 kilometres and moved westward before ending at an altitude of 32 kilometres between Aylmer, Ont., and St. Thomas. One or more meteorites were produced by the slow fireball based on the video records from the cameras.
Researchers are interested in hearing from anyone approximately five kilometres north or northwest of St. Thomas, who may have witnessed or recorded the event, or who may have found possible fragments of the freshly fallen meteorite.
Help @WesternU and @NASA find #stthomasmeteor! 苏州纹眉学校t.co/sZ7AUp4JV6 and 苏州纹眉学校t.co/I916cRsk2s #ldnont #westernu pic.twitter苏州纹眉学校/FmwJPNChfl
— Western University (@westernu) March 21, 2014
In Canada, meteorites belong to the owner of the land upon which they are discovered.
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.
©2014The Canadian Press