‘It’s just unreal’: Sask. resident captures fireball meteor on security camera

Lori Hoover and her husband were sitting watching TV at their home in Spruce Home, Sask. on Tuesday night when their security camera was triggered by a bright light in the sky.

Hoover said she immediately jumped up from the couch and went outside to see what it was but there was nothing there, so she watched the footage.

“We looked at the video over and over and couldn’t believe what we captured on that camera,” she told CTV News.

“It’s just unreal. I can’t believe it.”

The video shows a large, bright light falling from above at 8:50 pm CST Tuesday.

Hoover posted the video on Facebook and was surprised to find out how many people in other areas had seen the same thing.

“There were people in Cold Lake, Alberta, the Country, Manitoba, Watrous, Saskatchewan, like all over. And yet, when I saw the video, when I was looking at it, it seemed so close but it must not have been,” she said.

According to the American Meteor Society, 13 people from Saskatchewan, Manitoba and North Dakota reported seeing a fireball meteor around the same time. The website believes the meteor landed somewhere east of Humboldt, Sask.

Tim Yaworski with the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada Saskatoon Center confirmed that the sighting was a bolide or fireball meteor — a brighter, more intense meteor.

“What causes meteors is basically dirt that’s floating around in space and it’s intersecting and colliding with the Earth’s atmosphere. So, the typical meteor that we think of seeing could be as small as a grain of sand or as small as the fingernail on your pinky,” Yaworski said.

“With something like last night, that bolide or fireball, you’re dealing now with something more substantial, maybe possibly something fist-sized or larger.”

Yaworski said the reason this meteor was more intense comes down to size and the speed at which it burned after entering the Earth’s atmosphere.

“It was much larger and the larger it is, the longer it takes to burn and the more intense the burn is,” he said, comparing it to a campfire.

Yaworski said this usually happens at a high altitude, which is why people in different geographical areas witnessed it.

“The higher the altitude is, the greater the area of ​​coverage of people being able to see it, which is why we’re seeing those reported sightings,” he said.

“The only difference is going to be what angle or what direction you were facing when you saw it.”

Yaworski said this is a great opportunity for “citizen science” and encourages people to submit a report to the American Meteor Society describing where they spotted it in the sky, how high up it was, what direction it was heading, what length of time they saw it for and the time of day, making it easier to pinpoint where the meteor was over Earth and tracking down anything that’s left of it.

“If it actually did survive its entry into the Earth’s atmosphere and landed, to have access to something from space that’s been up there for, you know, millennia and be able to study it here is priceless,” he said.

Yaworski said anyone has the potential of seeing something like this if they’re in the right place at the right time. He said there are meteor showers about 12 times a year which can last a few hours or a few weeks and vary in intensity.

As for this meteor sighting, Yaworski said it doesn’t appear to be linked to any major meteor shower in the area.

“This just happened to be the Earth was at the right spot at the right time and a bunch of people were able to see it.”

Yaworki said the lesson people should take away from this is to go outside and enjoy the night sky.

“There’s nothing more beautiful and amazing and breathtaking than being underneath the stars on a beautiful Prairie evening, and you never know what you’re going to see.”

As for Hoover, she said this was her first time ever seeing something like this and is glad she’ll be able to look back on it.

“If a person has (seen something like this), it’s like a shooting star, you just see it out the corner of your eye, you’re not able to view it over and over and over again. And I think that’s what’s so incredible is that we are able to watch it over and over again,” Hoover said.

“To be able to share this with people too, that’s awesome.”

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