Fireball flies over Chatham-Kent sky
If you witnessed a bright light flash across the sky Friday night in Chatham-Kent, you weren’t imagining things.
A fireball passed over the region around 10:07 p.m.
Peter Brown, a Western University professor, meteor scientist and planetary astronomer tweeted a video of the event. Brown described it as being “as bright as [the] full Moon.”
According to the NASA All Sky Fireball Network, observers in Ontario, Michigan, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania reported seeing a bright fireball in the sky on Friday evening. The event was captured by several all-sky meteor cameras belonging to the NASA All Sky Fireball Network and the Southern Ontario Meteor Network operated by Western University.
Fireball as bright as full moon passed directly over Chatham, ON last night at 10:07 pm. Ended at 30 km height just N of Lake St. Claire near Fair Haven , MI. Fast (30 km/s) so very small or no meteorites likely. @amsmeteors @ScottWx_TWN #fireball 1/2 pic.twitter.com/AQkljeScsz
— Peter Brown (@pgbrown) February 27, 2021
According to NASA, an initial analysis of the video shows that the meteor appears 90 km above Erieau on the northern shore of Lake Erie. It moved northwest at a speed of 105,800 km per hour as it crossed the Canada-U.S. border before ending 32 km above Fair Haven, MI.
“At its brightest, the fireball rivalled the quarter Moon in intensity,” read a statement on the NASA All Sky Fireball Network. “Combining this with the speed gives the fragment a mass of at least 2 kilograms and a diameter of approximately 12 centimetres.”
It’s believed that the meteor was caused by a fragment of a Jupiter family comet although an asteroidal origin is also possible.