back to top

A Super Bright Meteor Lit Up The Night Sky Over BC And Alberta

The RCMP got dozens of calls about the big flash.

Posted on

A meteor illuminated parts of Western Canada on Monday night as it streaked across the sky.

Facebook: video.php

People nearby said the fireball lit up the entire night sky and caused a "huge boom" shortly afterwards.

Well, that was different: while sitting on a patio in #NelsonBC the entire sky lit up and a meteorite came down. Huge boom about 1m later.

Many people who shared their reactions online wondered what they'd just seen.

Chris Herd, a University of Alberta geologist who studies meteorites, told BuzzFeed Canada that "the brightness of this one suggests it was a rock of some size."

The RCMP said there were dozens of calls to offices in British Columbia and Alberta about the "huge green flash in the sky," as one person described it.

@CKNW We live in creston. Saw a huge green flash in the sky. A orange fireball then a sonic Boom that shook our house

According to Brett Gladman, a professor of astronomy at the University of British Columbia, the meteor was was visible from BC, Alberta, Washington, Idaho, and Montana.

The meteor was travelling south to north, "terminating somewhere north of Kootenay Lake in rugged interior BC terrain," he said.

A meteoroid explodes as it gets closer to the ground, he added, and people nearby would have heard that detonation.

He said it was emitting light starting from an altitude of over 100 kilometres.

"Thus people can see it from several hundred kilometres away and often feel it is much closer," Gladman said.

flashed through the sky #Calgary NW 11.10pm

Alan Hildebrand, an associate professor at the Univerisity of Calgary's department of geoscience, told BuzzFeed Canada the meteor was of a size and brightness only seen about once a year in Canada.

Based on videos people have posted, he said the rock had a mass of 1 to 10 tonnes. But after burning up and disintegrating into smaller pieces, the final meteorites would have been much smaller than that by the time they made impact.

"The biggest ones would probably be about the size of your head," Hildebrand said.

Space: beautiful and terrifying in equal measures.

Here's the meteor. Apparently it landed near Nelson, BC. 200km west of Calgary

Ishmael N. Daro is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Toronto. PGP fingerprint: 5A1D 9099 3497 DA4B

Contact Ishmael N. Daro at ishmael.daro@buzzfeed.com.

Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.