Meteoor verlicht prairienacht

Nieuws | de redactie
24 november 2008 |
In Canada wordt gezocht naar de resten van een spectaculaire metoorinslag uit het voorbije weekend. De stukken zouden zo groot moeten zijn als een stoel of huiskamertafel. Rond het stadje Macklin aan de grens van Alberta en Saskatchewan zouden zij gevonden moeten kunnen worden.  Verbluffende beelden van de door de atmosfeer stortende metoor in de fel oplichtende nachthemel tijdens de inslag ziet u hier.

De locale krant, Edmonton Sun geeft de meest actuele berichten:

Researchers are trying to track down a meteorite that flashed through the skies Thursday night before a snowfall makes the search impossible.Otherwise they’ll have to wait until spring when the snow melts, and chances of finding it may be slim by then, said Frank Florian, director of space sciences at Edmonton’s Telus World of Science. “That’s why we need to iron this down today,” he said. Florian has been receiving hundreds of phone calls and e-mails about the meteor sighting, all with varying accounts of where the flash of light took place. “We’re trying to take all the reports and put them together in a meaningful conclusion as to where it might have fallen,” Florian said.

The rock seems to have flown in the general direction east of Red Deer and west of Saskatoon and appears to be about 18 metres or larger, he added. Local amateur astronomer Alister Ling said researchers may use a method called triangulation, which deduces approximate landing sites by taking the possible locations and seeing where the lines of sight intersect. Once researchers have pinpointed a location, they will go out to interview people who live in the area and in surrounding communities before doing a walk-through, Florian said. After examining footage of the meteor, which rocketed across the dark sky around 5:30 p.m., Florian concluded that it was a piece of rock from space left over from the formation of the solar system. Because of the steepness and speed at which it was falling, Florian determined it could not have been a manmade object, which would have arced as it fell.

The rock lit up the sky in a myriad of colours when it hit the densest part of the earth’s atmosphere, then fragmented into pieces. “It may have been the largest one, or one of the largest that would have occurred over Canada this year,” said Alan Hildebrand, co-ordinator of the Canadian Fireball Reporting Centre and geology and geophysics professor at the University of Calgary.

Peace officer Adam Baxter was pulled over in Devon when he saw the phenomenon and captured it on the video camera on his dashboard. “What started out looking like a shooting star suddenly erupted into a ball of flame and shot across the sky, disappearing behind the tree line,” he said. Andrew Bartlett was trying to film planes flying over his downtown apartment on the 10th floor with a digital camera when he caught sight of the meteor and captured it bursting in a ball of gold. “At first, I thought it was a flare dropped from the plane. Then when I watched it again, I knew it had to be something from outer space.”

Florian encourages people to report their meteor sightings at the Meteorite and Impacts Advisory Committee’s website at

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