World

Flashing fireballs over Ontario and parts of the US


A fireball soaring over Ontario, Canada, early Saturday was the sixth object detected in space before it hit Earth. said the European Space Agency.

In the early hours of Saturday, rumors circulated among professional and amateur astronomers that a meteorite was on the way and that observers should point their telescopes and cameras up. sky.

The Minor Planet Center, which tracks objects in the solar system, said the meteorite entered Earth’s atmosphere around 3:27 a.m. Eastern Standard Time, via Brantford, Ontario.

The fast-moving object, provisionally designated #C8FF042, was discovered in images taken at the Mount Lemmon Survey near Tucson, Ariz., the Small Planet Center said.

Mike Hankey, chief executive officer of the American Meteorological Association, was in Maine, where he was setting up cameras to monitor the sky, when he received a call about a meteor at around 4 a.m. from someone in Germany.

He said messages about the meteorite had begun to spread about three hours earlier.

“When these things happen, the astronomy community wants to know where the collision happened and if the meteors are still alive, they want to recover them as soon as possible,” said Mr. Hankey.

A fireball is a meteor that is typically brighter than the planet Venus in the morning or evening sky, according to the American Meteorological Association, which has received 33 reports of a fireball from people in Maryland, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Ontario on Saturday afternoon.

Some people in and near Hamilton, Ontario, say on social media that they heard a loud bang. Astronomers were able to use these reports, as well as radar readings, to determine where meteorites might have hit Earth.

“There is a possibility that if there are surviving meteorites that they could be recovered near Grimsby, Ontario or St. Catharines, Ontario, near the Niagara Falls area.

According to the European Space Agency, an estimated 40 to 100 tons of space matter strikes Earth every day, and most of that is very small particles.

Mr Hankey said astronomers did not know the size of Saturday’s meteorite. A meteor is what a meteorite, a small piece of an asteroid or comet, becomes when it enters Earth’s atmosphere. A meteor that survives its fiery fall and hits the ground is called a meteorite.

According to the European Space Agency, global efforts to identify large asteroids, whose diameters can extend for kilometers, and detect them before impact have increased in recent years.

The agency says that since 2008, five other objects have been detected in space before they hit Earth, the result of improved observational technologies and greater global cooperation.

The ability to detect these space objects before they hit Earth gives authorities a chance to warn people to stay out of windows if a medium-sized meteor is expected to pass by and explode. , can break windows or use asteroid deflection missions to prevent larger ones from hitting.

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