Dashcams, Tweets Show Bright Daytime Fireball Over Ontario, Canada on May 4

by Nancy Atkinson on May 5, 2014

A rare daylight meteor streaked across the skies over southern Ontario, Canada and the U.S. Northeast during the afternoon of Sunday May 4, 2014, with brightness “rivaling that of the Sun,” said the American Meteor Society. Reports of a bright fireball followed by a loud sonic boom were reported on social media, and several dashcam videos emerged showing the fireball, showing an unusual vertical trajectory.

The likely trajectory of the fireball seen on May 4, 2014 over parts of Ontario Canada. Graphic courtesy American Meteor Society.

The likely trajectory of the fireball seen on May 4, 2014 over parts of Ontario Canada. Graphic courtesy American Meteor Society.

Experts estimated the space rock that caused the excitement as being about half to one meter in diameter and exploding with a force of 50 tons of TNT energy. Canadian meteor expert Peter Brown, a professor at the University of Western Ontario said in the Winnipeg Free Press that he is confident that the fireball was large enough that some meteorite fragments may have hit the ground. .

Compared to the meteor that exploded over Chelyabinsk, Russia in February of 2013, that’s quite small. That meteor’s explosion shattered windows and injured 1,000 people.

See more videos, tweets and images below, and you can read a liveblog of the event (with lots of links) by Daniel Fischer (@cosmos4u).

Read more news reports at the American Meteor Society, Globe and Mail, and Global News.

About 

Nancy Atkinson is Universe Today's Senior Editor. She also works with Astronomy Cast, and is a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.

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