SOMN Fireball event of September 25, 2009
At 9:03 pm on Friday night September 25, 2009 (01:03 UT Sept 26) seven all-sky cameras of Western's Southern Ontario Meteor Network (SOMN) recorded a brilliant fireball in the evening sky over the west end of Lake Ontario.
The fireball was seen widely by observers throughout southern Ontario and adjacent areas. The fireball was first detected by Western's camera systems at an altitude of 100km over Guelph moving southeastwards at 20.8 km/s. The meteoroid was initially the size of a child's tricycle. At its brightest, the fireball was approximately 100 times as bright as the full moon.
Analysis of the all-sky camera records as well as data from Western's meteor radar and infrasound equipment indicates that this bright fireball was large enough to have dropped meteorites in a region south of Grimsby on the Niagara Peninsula, providing masses that may total as much as several kilograms.
Researchers at Western are interested in hearing from anyone within 10 km of Grimsby who may have witnessed or recorded this evening event, seen or heard unusual events at the time, or who may have found possible fragments of the freshly fallen meteorite.
Meteorites are of great scientific value. Note that, in Canada, meteorites belong to the owner of the land upon which they are discovered. If you intend to search, please obtain the permission of the land owner before searching on private land.
Meteorites may best be recognized by their dark and scalloped exterior, and are usually more dense than normal rock and will often attract a fridge magnet due to their metal content. In this fall meteorites may well occur in a small hole produced by their dropping into soil. Meteorites are not dangerous, but we request that any recovered meteorites be placed in a clean plastic bag or container and be handled as little as possible to preserve their scientific information.
If you have questions, observations or possible meteorites from this Sept. 25th event, please contact:
- Dr. Phil McCausland
- Phone: (519) 661-2111 ext-87985 (UWO Meteor Physics Lab)
- Cell: (519) 694-3323
- e-mail: pmccausl at uwo.ca
For more information on the Southern Ontario Meteor Network (SOMN) all-sky cameras, or on Western's meteor radar (CMOR), please contact Rob Weryk:[rjweryk at uwo.ca]
For Western's infrasound array, please contact Elizabeth Silber: [elizabeth.silber at uwo.ca]
For more information on the animations of this event, please contact
David Clark: [dclark56 at uwo.ca]
All sky Camera videos from these locations:
We would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the camera operators for each of our partner sites for kindly hosting network cameras, helping to maintain and ensure their smooth operation:
- Asgard 03 - Doug Welch (Dept of Physics and Astronomy, McMaster University)
- Asgard 05 - Carr Astronomical Observatory (RASC - Toronto Center)
- Asgard 06 - Marc Castel (Robosky)
- Asgard 07 - Paul Zelichowski - Bruce County Astronomical Society