The fireball that rose over Ontario, Canada, early Saturday was the sixth object detected in space before hitting Earth. European Space Agency.
In the wee hours of Saturday, word spread through the community of professionals and Hobby Astronomers said a meteor was on its way and observers should keep their telescopes and cameras skyward.
The Minor Planet Centrewhich tracks objects in the solar system, said the meteorite It entered Earth’s atmosphere around 3:27 a.m. EDT, over Brantford, Ontario.
The fast-moving object, tentatively designated #C8FF042, was detected in images taken at the Mount Lemon Survey near Tucson, Ariz. , according to the Minor Planet Center.
Mike HankeyOperations Manager at American Meteorite SocietyHe was in Maine, setting up cameras to watch the sky, when he got a call about the meteor around 4 am from someone in Germany.
He said messages about the meteor started circulating about three hours ago.
“When these things happen, the astronomy community wants to know where the collision occurred, and if the meteorites survive, they want to recover them as soon as possible,” said Mr. Hanke.
A fireball is a meteor generally brighter than Venus in the morning or evening sky, according to the American Meteor Society, which received 33 reports A fireball of people in Maryland, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Ontario on Saturday afternoon.
Some people in and near Hamilton, Ontario, he said on social media They heard a loud bang. Astronomers have been able to use these reports, along with the radar readings, to determine where meteorites are likely to have hit Earth.
“There is a chance if there are meteorites that have survived that they could be recovered near Grimsby, Ontario, or St. Catharines, Ontario, near the Niagara Falls area,” Mr. Hanke said.
An estimated 40 to 100 tons of space material hits Earth each day, most of which are very small particles, According to the European Space Agency.
Mr Hanke said astronomers did not know the size of the meteorite on Saturday. A meteorite is what a meteor or a small piece of an asteroid or comet becomes when it enters Earth’s atmosphere. A meteor that survives its fiery fall and crashes into the Earth is called a meteorite.
According to the European Space Agency, global efforts to identify large asteroids, which can span kilometers in diameter, and detect them before collisions have intensified in recent years.
Since 2008, the agency said, five more objects have been discovered in space before they hit Earth, as a result of improved monitoring techniques and increased global cooperation.
The ability to detect these space objects before they hit Earth gives authorities the opportunity to warn people to stay away from windows if a medium-sized meteor is expected to fly by and explode, which could break windows, or to use them. Asteroid deflection missions to prevent major strikes.
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