Watch a Fiery Meteorite Burn Up the Sky

Thursday night, a meteorite fell in Western Canada, burning up as hit the Earth’s atmosphere and creating a brilliant flash over Alberta and Saskatchewan. Witnesses got to experience the brightest fireball the country has seen in over a decade. Fortunately for us non-Canadians, several video cameras captured the meteorite’s luminous fall.The meteorite appeared in the sky around 5pm MT, and Alan Hildebrand, a planetary scientist said it was probably the largest to land in Canada in 12 years. And the object’s entry into the Earth’s atmosphere created an impressive display. According to the Globe and Mail:

Hildebrand says the meteor could likely be seen up to 700 kilometres away, into the northern United States. It contained about a tenth of a kiloton of energy when it entered the earth's atmosphere, equal to 100 tons of the chemical explosive TNT. “It would be something like a billion-watt light bulb.” Besides sonic boom sounds, he said witnesses also reported hearing hissing or crackling noises like frying bacon. Fireballs can act as radio transmitters, Mr. Hildebrand said, causing odd sounds.


The video below shows the fall as captured by a police dashboard camera in Edmonton, Alberta. The next step is for astronomers to search the region for the meteorite fragments, which are billions of years old and valuable for study.

Pieces of large meteor may have landed in Saskatchewan [Globe and Mail] [Videos via Metafilter]