A one-meter-diameter meteor lit up the skies of southern Ontario early Saturday morning before hitting the shoreline of Lake Ontario in the Niagara region and Grimsby, Ontario.
On landing, scientists are now calling on residents to pay attention to rocks in space that are billions of years old.
According to the European Space Agency, this is the sixth time a meteorite has been spotted before it hits the global asteroid warning system, turning into a meteorite as it falls to Earth and breaks apart.
The system could tell scientists when and where the asteroid will hit.
The meteorite, labeled object C8FF042 by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), struck Lake Ontario around 3:30 am on Saturday.
“Rare outbreak in Southern Ontario”
From Toronto to Brantford, people in southern Ontario witnessed the meteorite. Some shared footage from their home security cameras on his social media over the weekend, with a fire breaking out and lighting up the night sky.
Others said they heard a loud noise around that time, a researcher the CBC spoke to said was a sonic boom produced when the meteorite traveled faster than the speed of sound.
#SOntNovember 19/22 at approximately 3:26 AM ET. @esaoperations is an asteroid about 1 m #C8FF042 is the sixth one found before the collision.#meteor #space #Toronto @TourCNTower
(Credit @EarthCam) pic.twitter.com/2e3lkfVhbG
Peter Brown, professor of physics at Western University in London, Ontario, is a member of the Western Meteor Physics Group (WMPG), which uses cameras to study meteors.
“We have a network of cameras in southern Ontario and southern Quebec, and the network monitors the night sky all the time,” he said, adding that his meteor observation group has about 20 cameras in the sky. Added that it is directed.
According to Brown, the WMPG’s goal is to capture footage of “bright meteors producing fireballs” like those that landed on Lake Ontario over the weekend.
He said the WMPG captured the meteor with 12 cameras, that it was “bright as the moon” and could be seen in most of southern Ontario where clouds did not obscure the view.
Brown says his group has detected “a few fairly bright meteors a night,” but an object of this size (which is what causes the fireballs) hits Earth only a few times a week. said it was rarely recorded in southern Ontario.
The impact of asteroid 2022WJ1 created a bright fireball in southern Ontario last night at 3:26 am. This submeter-sized asteroid (one of his NEA’s smallest yet detected) produced a spectacular fireball, even though it was cloudy in many places. Video from the Western Meteor Network: pic.twitter.com/e5LkY7qWw4
“The fireball was only visible in southern Ontario, but there was a global network of telescopes and observers who were able to track the object as it came in,” he said, adding meteors from around the world. A network of telescopes tracking , will contribute to advances in meteor tracking science.
“I hope people start looking for those rocks. Scientists are very interested in getting samples of those rocks,” he said.
Rocks from space are ‘frozen in time’ and ‘important’
Kim Tait is curator of mineralogy, meteorites and gems at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) and a former Hamilton resident.
Tate urged people living near where the meteor hit Niagara to be on the lookout for space rock debris and donate what they find to ROM so Tate and her team can study it. I recommend
“Most of the rocks from space are 4 1/2 billion years old,” she said.
“We have a dynamic planet on Earth that is constantly circulating, winds and rains, and different features that change rocks. But these [meteor] Rocks have been frozen since the very early stages of the solar system,” Tate said.
According to Brown, rock hunters can tell if it’s a meteorite fragment by its weight, color, and magnetism.
“Meteorites are usually pretty heavy for their size. They’re dense and usually magnetic, so magnets usually stick to them,” he said.
“The outer crust of meteorites is often black, like the black crust of a spacecraft passing through the atmosphere. Reentry is like melting the outer part of the meteorite.”
Brown said residents of the Virgil, McNab, and Port Weller areas of Niagara should be particularly alert to the debris.
“Unfortunately it was a snowy weekend and things got buried quickly,” said Tate.
“It would be great if everyone could see a little bit of the property around the lake.”
Tate says anyone who finds a piece of the meteorite can decide to keep it or donate it to ROM, but at least contact the museum’s natural history department so scientists can come and evaluate the rock. I hope that
“Sometimes people want to keep them, and I completely respect that. [that] And I understand,” she said.
“But every time we open it, we discover something new. So I think all the rocks from space are really important.”