Scientists are now hurrying to the possible impact site of a meteorite after a brilliant fireball was seen over the skies of southwestern Ontario on Tuesday, March 18th.
The basketball-sized fireball was seen, by seven different all-sky cameras run by Western University, at 10:24 at night, local time. Two other camera networks, based in Ohio and Pennsylvania, also noticed the fireball.
Western University scientists believe that the fireball detonated around 47 miles above Port Dover, moving westward until it broke up 20 miles from there, placing it between Aylmer and St. Thomas.
University officials advise that meteorites can be found in the small holes produced upon crashing into the ground. They also added that, while they aren’t dangerous, found meteorites should be stored in a clean container and touched as little as is possible in order to retain as much scientific information as can be gained.
St. Thomas Municipal Airport is planned to hold a briefing of the press regarding the meteorite hunt.
A statement by Western University officials, says that meteorites are best recognized by a dark and scalloped outside, metallic, and usually denser than rock. Western University is based in London, Ontario.
More than one meteorite may have resulted from the brilliant fireball, with debris scattering 3 miles off northward or northwestward of St. Thomas. Western officials are interested in anyone with eyewitness or recordings of the event, noticed unusual things around 10:24 p.m., or that may possess shards of the meteorite.
Meteorite hunters are warned that they should ask for permission before looking around on privately owned land. Anyone that has found a meteorite fragment is urged to contact Phil McCausland at either 519-661-2111, ext. 88008 or via his cellular phone at 519-614-3323. McCausland is the meteorite curator for Brown and Western University.