Astronomy Picture of the Day: Meteor Over Canada

APOD’s November 25th posting features a ‘desk-sized’ meteor which fell to earth over western Canada, illuminating Alberta and British Columbia skies late in the evening of November 20th.

This police dashboard camera captures the meteor in its final moments.  Astronomers hope to attempt to triangulate its position to both determine its impact site, and also discover its origin.  The heavy gravitational field of Mars and Jupiter conventionally pull most all meteors, compets and asteroids away from the earth’s orbit, but on rare occasions, foreign bodies land on our planet.

It is speculated that lake Huron (and possibly the wide spread of lakes spanning Canada’s provinces and territories) could have been created by an earth-killer, explaining why there are so many rare and precious metals and rocks surrounding the Great Canadian Shield.

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5 comments

  1. Pingback: Astronomy Picture of the Day: Meteor Over Canada » AstroDispatch.com » Astrology Around The Web
  2. Mark

    I have maintained that Lake Huron was a large asteroid impact that hit the Earth in a south-to-north direction (i.e. it was traveling at roughly 90 degrees to the ecliptic) for many years now.

    Surrounding Lake Huron is the Niagara Escarpement (the same escarpment over which Niagara Falls descends). This escarpment starts in the middle of New York state somewhere, hooks around the western tip of Lake Ontario, travels up through southern Ontario, along the Bruce Penninsula (which seperates Lake Huron from Georgian Bay), across to Manitoulin Island (it dips in this crossing so as to allow Georgian Bay to empty into Lake Huron), which is where it then starts to do its arc over the northern extend of Lake Huron and then bending back down south on the western side of the lake (actually, it forms the eastern coast of Lake Michigan) and then finally it peters out into Illinois state somewhere.

    The cross-sectional topology from the western edge of this escarpment to its eastern edge is like a shallow dish, it rises up at the edges and is depressed in the centre. This is what would have happened if an asteroid had hit in the centre; it would have depressed the centre causing the edges to rise up in a counter reaction (thus forming the rather dramatic cliffs of the Niagara Escarpment all around this arc).

    The fact that this escarpment is in the form of a huge arc (instead of a circle) with no southern edge leads me to believe that the impacting asteroid was traveling across the face of the Earth (as opposed to directly into it) from the south heading north.

    But this impact would not necessarily be responsible for the rich supply of minerals across the Canadian Shield (since much of the asteroid, and thus its energy, would have likely bounced off the Earth because it was not a direct-in impact). The rich supply of minerals is more likely due to the direct-in impact of the asteroid that formed Hudson and James Bays which would have shattered the granite layer of the Canadian Shield thus allowing these heavier (and valuable) minerals to rise up through the cracks.

    I do not present this here as researched fact but as personal conclusions from a life of living on the Niagara Escarpment with occassional excursions onto the Canadian Shield.

    Cheers,

    Mark

  3. linda

    We saw it in New Orleans and my cousin saw it and lives close to the Gulf of Mexico. My son and I saw it from different locations. It looked like it was headed toward the west but I thought sure it landed in Texas and she said it was going West when she saw it in the dusk. It was still pretty daylit here and had never seen a shooting star in New Orleans (too bright in the city) and something that bright and close to the ground. We are amazed and feel like we were blessed to witness this older than the earth rock.

  4. linda

    We saw it in New Orleans and my cousin saw it and lives close to the Gulf of Mexico. My son and I saw it from different locations. It looked like it was headed toward the west but I thought sure it landed in Texas and she said it was going West when she saw it in the dusk. It was still pretty daylit here and had never seen a shooting star in New Orleans (too bright in the city) and something that bright and close to the ground. We are amazed and feel like we were blessed to witness this older than the earth rock. my sousin lives in Bay CIty Texas.

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