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U of C geoscientist attempts to pinpoint Labour Day fireball’s impact location using amateur video
Published Wednesday, September 13, 2017 5:22PM MDT
Last Updated Wednesday, September 13, 2017 7:00PM MDT
A professor at the University of Calgary is attempting to collect videos of a recent meteorite in order to track the asteroid’s flight path and determine where it fell to earth.
Alan Hildebrand, a geoscientist, says the September 4 fireball, which lit up the night sky, was observed over Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia as well as Montana, Idaho and Washington.
The sightings led the American Meteor Society to the belief the meteorite’s impact spot was near Meadow Creek, British Columbia in the Kootenays but Hildebrand is not convinced. The geoscientist is trying to secure more videos, including images of the shadows cast by the meteorite, to prove his theory the flight path of the fireball, that travelled at speeds of roughly 20 kilometres per second, was further south.
“People who have security cameras in the Kootenay Valley, we would very much like to see more of them,” said Hildebrand. “Even if their camera is pointed down, most people are looking at doors or parking lots, it’s still useful to us if the shadows can be seen that are cast by the fireball.”
The geoscientist says wind direction and eyewitness accounts from Kaslo, B.C. indicating the meteorite ended southeast of the town suggest the impact point in likely east of Kootenay Lake. Hildebrand believes the asteroid separated into hundreds, if not thousands. of space rocks, some as large as a human head, that landed in a forested area but additional data, obtained from video footage, could help him triangulate the trajectory of the flight path.
Hildebrand plans to return to the area this weekend. Anyone who has video of the fireball or the fireball’s shadow is asked to email Alan Hildebrand
With files from CTV's Brad MacLeod