Fireball over Cranbrook

Published on September 13, 2017, 8:28 am

Published by Cranbrook Daily Townsman

The Cranbrook College of the Rockies meteor camera tracked Monday night's fireball high over Nelson and Kootenay Lake. It lasted for about ten seconds, from 11:11:26 until 11:11:37 Mountain time. For a brightness comparison, note the full Moon in the lower left part of the video is totally outshown by the fireball when it flares. The smoke haze hides what happens at that point, did pieces break off? It looks pretty big, way bigger than 100kg. There is no sign of the fireball breaking up and exploding when it hits the denser part of the atmosphere, but Dr. Alan Hildebrand (a meteorite expert from the University of Calgary) thinks it might have dropped some meteorites on the ground. Note that meteorites that strike the ground are not hot and smoking like you see in Hollywood movies, so don't worry about them starting a forest fire. They start off extremely cold in outer space, and stay cool by ablation during their fiery fall through the atmosphere (the hot surface particles blow away before they can heat the inside). It's very rare to get a hot or warm meteorite. Courtesy Rick Nowell/College of the Rockies

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