[meteorite-list] Astronomer Hunts For Remains of Canadian Fireball
From: Ron Baalke <baalke_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Thu Apr 22 10:32:54 2004
Astronomer hunts for remains of Prairie 'fireball'
CBC News (Canada)
March 25, 2004
ROSETOWN, SASK. - One man's space odyssey is taking him to yards
across west central Saskatchewan in search of a possible meteorite.
People in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba were treated to a
fireball that lit up the night sky in a light show on the evening
of March 21.
In Rosetown, Sask., witnesses described it as a flash like an
airplane exploding, a big red streak and roar. Others reported a
strange smell, which astronomers said can comes from the meteor
burning off ozone as it goes through the atmosphere.
Geologist and astronomy buff Don Hladiuk captured an image of the
fireball with a specially designed camera mounted in his backyard
"It's a cloudy night, you can't see any planets or stars, yet we're
seeing flashes, almost lightning in the clouds, so that tells us it
was a very large event," Hladiuk said.
University of Regina astronomy Prof. Martin Beech is looking for
remains of the space rock, which may have been the size of a
"It's definitely a needle in the haystack search," said Beech. "But
if you don't look, I guess you have no chance of finding anything."
Most meteors burn up in the atmosphere before they ever reach the
ground to become meteorites.
Beech and other astronomers are so excited about the possibility
of finding the rare meteorite because the space rocks can help them
learn more about how the solar system and even planets were formed.
"It could tell us about the surface of Mars many millions of years
ago potentially," said Beech. "The characteristics of the Martian
atmosphere then as well."
Where rocks on Earth have been modified by erosion over time,
space rocks can offer a clean record.
Received on Thu 25 Mar 2004 07:48:42 PM PST