By Jenn Watt
If you live in the Cardiff area there’s a chance you could find meteorites on your property.
A fireball was observed by the Western University All-Sky Camera Network in the early morning hours of Wednesday July 24 and analysis of the video by NASA Meteoroid Environment Office indicates that it’s likely fragments landed in the area west of Bancroft.
“This fireball likely dropped a small number of meteorites in the Bancroft area specifically near the small town of Cardiff. We suspect meteorites made it to the ground because the fireball ended very low in the atmosphere just to the west of Bancroft and slowed down significantly. This is a good indicator that material survived” Western astronomy professor Peter Brown said in a press release.
The fireball was as bright as the full moon and was seen on the all-sky camera network at 2:44 a.m. on July 24.
Brown and his collaborators at Western and the Royal Ontario Museum would like to connect with anyone in the area who heard anything unusual or who found possible meteorites.
“Meteorites are of great interest to researchers as studying them helps us to understand the formation and evolution of the solar system” Brown said.
A press release from Western University gives this information on meteorites: “Meteorites can be recognized by their dark often scalloped exterior. Usually they will be denser than a ‘normal’ rock and will often be attracted to a magnet due to their metal content. Meteorites are not dangerous but if recovered it is best to place them in a clean plastic bag or wrap them in aluminum foil. They should also be handled as little as possible to help preserve their scientific value. In Canada meteorites belong to the owner of the land upon which they are found. If individuals plan to search they should always obtain permission of the land-owner before venturing onto private land.”
If you’ve found rock that could be meteorite fragments Kim Tait of the Royal Ontario Museum at firstname.lastname@example.org would be interested in hearing from you.