Second visible fireball reported above Ontario in a week
TORONTO -- Another meteor is believed to have fallen into the earth’s atmosphere late Monday night, marking the second visible fireball reported in a week above Ontario.
Dashboard camera footage from a driver in Pickering, Ont. caught a bright light travelling across the sky around 7:30 p.m.
Paul Delaney, an astronomy and physics professor at York University, said the rock may have been about the size of a baseball.
“The friction with our atmosphere is making them glow, burn up and dissipate,” he said. “That’s what it looks like from the dashcam footage I’ve seen.”
More than 150 eyewitness reports were made to National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) of a bright fireball seen on the evening of Dec. 7. According to NASA, the object may have entered the atmosphere above Rossie, New York before travelling across the border, disintegrating near Brockville, Ont.
The space agency said the rock does not appear to be a member of the Geminid meteor shower, which is set to peak around Dec. 13 and Dec. 14.
Dr. Denis Vida, a postdoctoral associate with the University of Western Ontario in their physics and astronomy department, called the meteor “a slow fireball” as it travelled about 12.5 kilometres a second after entering the earth’s atmosphere at a steep angle.
“Given the slow speed, there might be small (10 gram) rocks on the ground,” Vida said in a statement to CTV News Toronto. “We still need to compute the probable fall location, but given the large height and the small size of the meteorites, the fall area will be quite large.”
Vida said that the small size of the rocks will mean that they are more influenced by the wind and other factors, which may change their trajectory. If any rocks made it to the ground, Vida estimates they may have fallen south of Belleville.
“Although we are not yet certain on which side of the border.”
Last Wednesday, multiple Torontonians reported seeing a fireball trail across the sky. Vida said at the time that a basketball-sized meteor was believed to have entered the earth’s atmosphere at a 45-degree angle about 50 kilometers north of Syracuse, New York.
Those in the United States reported hearing a large boom before seeing the fireball in the sky.