The remains of a 10-tonne asteroid that exploded in the sky near the Alberta/Saskatchewan border on November 20, 2008 have been located by University of Calgary researchers in a rural area near the city of Lloydminster.
Planetary scientist Dr. Alan Hildebrand and graduate student Ellen Milley located several fragments of meteorite late Thursday afternoon and are conducting a search of the area to collect some of the estimated thousands of meteorite fragments densely strewn over an estimated 20-square-kilometre area near the Battle River.
The fireball first appeared approximately 80 kilometres above and just east of the border city of Lloydminster, Alberta/Saskatchewan, and traveled SSE towards the Battle River valley fragmenting spectacularly in a series of explosions.
The fireball penetrated the atmosphere at a steep angle of approximately 60 degrees from the horizontal and lasted about five seconds from 17:26:40 to 17:26:45 MST with the largest explosion at 17:26:44. The fireball was recorded on all-sky and security cameras scattered across Saskatchewan and Alberta in addition to being witnessed by tens of thousands of people who saw it streak across the sky, saw its arc- welding blue flash, or heard the subsequent explosions.
Dr. Peter Brown, Canada Research Chair in Meteor Physics at the University of Western Ontario said that a fireball this size only occurs over Canada once every five years on average. About ten fireballs of this size occur somewhere over the Earth each year.
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