University of Calgary graduate student Ellen Milley poses with a fragment of a meteorite in a small pond. AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Geoff Howe

Pictures of Canadian Meteorite Fragments

29 Nov , 2008 by

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On Nov. 27, planetary scientist Dr. Alan Hildebrand from the University of Calgary and graduate student Ellen Milley brought reporters to a site where they have found numerous meteorite fragments from the bolide that streaked across the sky in Western Canada on Nov. 20. The area where the meteroite fragments were found is called Buzzard Coulee, about 40 kilometers from the town of Lloydminster, on the Alberta-Saskatchewan border. There, around a frozen pond, numerous small rocks and pebbles could be seen that the scientists said were from the meteorite. No large chunks were spotted, however, reporters said.

Fragments of a meteorite were found in a small pond at Buzzard Coulee, Sask. on Friday. (Geoff Howe/CP)

Fragments of a meteorite were found in a small pond at Buzzard Coulee, Sask. on Friday. (Geoff Howe/CP)

The fireball that streaked across western Canadian skies was witnessed by thousands, and Hildebrand believes it was a 10-ton fragment from an asteroid. Videos from surveillance and police cameras showed the meteor exploding before it hit the ground. Reporters were told those observations, combined with the physical evidence, give scientists a treasure trove of data that could give them a better understanding of the solar system. The reports don’t offer any indications of the type of meteorite the fragments are, but from the images they appear to possibly be iron. We’ll add more images and information as they become available.

Sources: CBC.com,
, Washington Post, Phys.Org


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skyweek
Member
November 29, 2008 3:20 PM

These are probably ordinary chondrites, early analysis seems to show.

Don Alexander
Member
Don Alexander
November 29, 2008 11:58 AM

So they pieces were actually stuck in a frozen pond? grin That’s awesomely easy to identifiy then.

sofista
Member
November 29, 2008 12:08 PM

[…] El 27 de noviembre, el Dr. Alan Hildebrand, de la Universidad de Calgary, y la estudiante del tercer ciclo Ellen Milley, llevaron a un grupo de periodistas al lugar donde habían encontrado numerosos fragmentos del bólido que estremeció el cielo occidental de Canadá el pasado 20 de noviembre. […] Fuentes: Nancy Atkinson para Universe Today, y otros.

Maxwell
Member
Maxwell
November 29, 2008 1:03 PM

Thats probably how they knew it was chips from the main rock, being that those bits had to land there after the last freezing.

Dusko
Guest
Dusko
November 29, 2008 1:06 PM

Thay sad taht its site of grape…anyway beutiful girl smile

Antti o
Guest
Antti o
November 29, 2008 2:39 PM

Nice finding and truely nice girl. But as I’m no rocket-scientist so could anyone, please, explain: the meteorite hits the atmosphere at a speed of app. 14 km per second. It fragmented into smaller pieces, burning in that fantastic video. So what is approximately the speed of that piece of rock hitting the ice ? Thanks for explonation.

Hunnter
Member
Hunnter
November 29, 2008 3:02 PM

Is it just me, or does it freak anyone else out that large pieces like this are hitting the ground?
What if it had been slightly bigger?
What if it caused a crater? Or worse…

When i first saw the security camera footage, it seriously almost looks as if the whole place was blown up, until you see the last couple frames where it dampens in brightness.

Maxwell
Member
Maxwell
November 29, 2008 3:02 PM

Probably not that fast.
After it hit the thick air and exploded into smaller pieces, it would have dropped from mach whatever back down to sub sonic speeds.
So figure out how fast a similarly sized rock falls when dropped from 1000 feet or so, and you’d have hit.

Antti o
Guest
Antti o
November 29, 2008 3:06 PM

Thank you, Maxwell !

Cynthia
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Cynthia
November 29, 2008 4:20 PM
You’d think that ice would be cracked a bit around the impact site, at least several meteor diameters away from the meteor. I guess it’s possible that the entire pond melted a bit during warm weather or from sunshine after the meteor struck before refreezing. That would explain the relatively fresh looking ice around the impact site. Alternately the meteor came in at a steep angle and bounced to its present location after hitting land or some other spot on the ice. Some melting appears to have ocurred within one diameter of the rock as evidenced by the swirly pattern in the ice around the meteor. Some photos taken with a polarizing filter might better show the effects… Read more »
Joel
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Joel
November 29, 2008 4:20 PM

It depends on the mass and velocity of the object and the density altitude at impact. Terminal velocity of smaller objects at density altitudes of ~4,000 feet or less is ~120 mph. Larger objects will likely retain higher velocities due to their greater mass. For example, the recent meteor strike in Peru near Lake Titicaca in Sept. 2007 left an impact crater approximately 30m. across and 19m. deep, at an elevation above 12,500ft. .

uncledan
Member
uncledan
November 29, 2008 4:39 PM

Aren’t those little pieces worth a small fortune?

Hunnter
Member
Hunnter
November 29, 2008 5:31 PM

@ bse5150
I should certainly hope so.

I wonder if someone else found it, they could sell it on.

Vlad
Member
Vlad
November 30, 2008 3:00 AM

Don’t be surprised if pieces of this rock will surface on internet, summing up to tens of tons!

Rafael
Guest
Rafael
November 30, 2008 8:14 AM

Fascinating stuff. The fragment might’ve hit somewhere else on the pond or the surrounding ground, then slid or skipped around – being still warm from entry, melted the ice and sank to its present position.

George
Guest
George
November 30, 2008 4:27 PM

Wow, just wow. Some of the things that go on beyond our planet are comprehensible, until tomorrow.

Maxwell
Member
Maxwell
November 30, 2008 11:37 AM

It could have hit right there, too.
There may have been enough heat in the rock to melt the ice it impacted, then it would have refroze in place. Making it hard to see any spiderwebbing cracks.

No doubt there will be ebay scams and profiteers trying to sell anything they find… but hopefully they can preserve all the debris sites before it gets out of hand.

Feenixx
Member
November 30, 2008 12:27 PM
Hunnter asks “Is it just me, or does it freak anyone else out that large pieces like this are hitting the ground?” It used to spook me, too…. until a chunk about the size of the piece in the picture (but more nicely rounded) hit the roof of a neighbour’s house. I would have expected it to leave a ruin behind – three or four broken tiles was the total extend of the damage. Another one was seen streaking all the way across the Eastern US of A and ended up hitting a car in NYC. It smashed the left front wing and headlight – nobody was injured. I’ve heard of (and have seen) a lot more damage… Read more »
Nivag
Member
Nivag
November 30, 2008 1:05 PM
# Joel Says: “…Larger objects will likely retain higher velocities due to their greater mass…” True, but probably more relevant is the ratio of mass to meteor’s surface area. This assumes that the braking affect of the air is proportional to surface area (which is probably an over simplification!). More specifically it will depend on the initial kinetic energy when it hits the Earth’s atmosphere and the force of deceleration caused by atmospheric drag. Also we both implicitly assumed that the meteor would not simply burn up… Anyhow, I would expect that if 2 meteors of the same mass and kinetic energy hit at the same angle… then the denser one would hit the ground at a faster… Read more »
Aaron
Guest
Aaron
November 30, 2008 3:58 PM

Can I have it please?

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