Fragments of Monday morning meteor may have landed in Alberta

The American Meteor Society, using data compiled from the reports, estimates the meteor’s flight path ended just southwest of Athabasca.

Robertson says a team from the University of Alberta will likely triangulate the data and put together a team to go out and search for any pieces that survived.

“The fragments slow down to quite slow, I mean when it hits the earth’s atmosphere these things are going at [between] 11 and 25 kilometres per second, but by the time they hit the ground they’re just falling at terminal velocity, so that’s just less than a couple hundred kilometres per hour.”

He adds that, if anything can be recovered, then they can analyze the fragments to find out more information.

“Whether it’s an iron meteor or a ‘stony’ meteor, and if they get enough data they can actually track back the meteor’s original orbit around the sun and find out where it actually came from.”

Robertson says it’s not guaranteed that any pieces did survive the fall, and there’s also the possibility that any fragments that did survive could have landed in snow, and may not be recovered.

He also says it’s not surprising to see reports coming from all over, and Mike Hankey, the Operations Manager of the American Meteor Society, says it’s not surprising that the flash was seen as far from the site as Grande Prairie.

“You could see (the flash) from up to 600 kilometres away on either side potentially, especially if it’s really bright and based on people’s elevation,” says Hankey.

Hankey adds that anyone who spots a meteor or a fireball can submit reports to the American Meteor Society, which will help narrow down the exact locations that these objects fall, and lead to researchers potentially recovering any surviving fragments.

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