Several more fragments have been found from the 10-ton asteroid that exploded over western Canada on November 20, including a head-sized piece weighing 13-kilograms (28 lbs). Imagine that landing on your house or car (or head!). University of Calgary professor Alan Hildebrand, who is leading the search estimates there could be 2,000 fragments per hectare (about 2.5 acres) in the area near where fragments were initially found. The asteroid is becoming known as the Buzzard Coulee fireball, named after the picturesque, but luckily uninhabited valley where the first pieces were located. Check out the website of Bruce McCurdy of Edmonton Space & Science Foundation and the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, who has joined in the search for more meteorite images.
More than two dozen pieces of the asteroid have been found by researchers or members of the public. The search is focused on a 24-square-kilometer section of agricultural land along the Battle River where the scientists calculated the debris would be located. Hildebrand was appreciative all the eyewitness reports and help from the public in obtaining as much information as possible about the fireball that lit up the sky. “I was gratified that my first prediction was close,” he said of his estimate of where the fragments could be found. “We couldn’t have done this so quickly without the eyewitnesses and security camera records, and we still need the security camera records to determine the pre-fall orbit of this asteroid.”
Searchers from the University of Calgary have been joined by other members of the Canadian Space Agency-funded Small Bodies Discipline Working Group, as well as members of the public who wanted to join the search and find a chunk of history. A father and son team found the big 13 kg piece, which was given to the rancher that owned the land on which it was found.