Mysterious fireball lights up western Canadian sky
Published Thursday, November 20, 2008 9:43PM EST
Last Updated Friday, May 18, 2012 9:34PM EDT
A mysterious fireball has lit up the sky in western Canada and may have been a meteorite which slammed into central Alberta, according to local reports.
While it's still unknown what caused the bright light, residents from northern Saskatchewan to southern Alberta have reported seeing it, the RCMP said.
MyNews user Dan Charrois, who lives about 50 kilometres north of Edmonton, said security cameras set up at his home managed to capture some grainy footage showing a big flare in the night sky.
"It happened so fast I don't think anyone would have had the reaction time to get it," he told CTV.ca, adding that his computer software business has written programs which track meteors.
Though Charrois didn't see the fireball himself, he decided to check the security tapes after his friends and neighbours called him to find out where the light may have came from.
"I only had to rewind a couple of minutes and it was there," he said, noting the security time stamped the flash at 5:26 p.m. local time.
"You kind of see a flash, which lasts about two seconds or so," he said.
CTV Calgary has also received several calls about the fireball, and one witness said it was so bright that it was visible from the Deerfoot freeway in the city's core.
Other witnesses in Lloydminster, located on the border of Alberta and Saskatchewan, said the light was so strong that it appeared to be daylight when it passed over the area.
And locals at the Red Pheasant First Nation, 100 kilometres northeast of Saskatoon, said the walls of their band office shook when the fireball streaked overhead.
The fireball may have crashed into the ground about 200 kilometres south of Calgary, according to witness Rob Westland.
Westland told CTV Calgary that he was driving with his son when the pair spotted a massive light.
The Brooks, Alta., resident said that the fireball was about the size of a house and that it may have slammed into the ground with a muffled boom.
Meanwhile, Calgary-based astronomer Alan Dyer said that it's too soon to speculate on what caused the light.
Dyer, who works at the Telus World of Science, added that it will take time for experts to work through videos and photos to find out what exactly occurred.