News / Canada

Dash cam catches meteor shoot across the sky in Newfoundland

"A fireball that ended in a green explosion high over forested hills, sending out two pieces that each went black."

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. — An apparent meteor blazed across the sky over St. John's harbour Monday night as social media buzzed with jokes that maybe aliens had landed.

Garry Dymond with the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada was setting up his backyard telescope at his home in St. John's when it streaked overhead.

"What I saw was what we'd classify as a fireball," he said Tuesday. "It was heading towards the Southside Hills in St. John's, cutting through the constellation of Pegasus.

"It exploded in a nice green explosion and then two pieces came out of that, heading straight on. One went black and the other went on a bit farther and went black."

Dymond doubts those pieces hit ground — creating a meteorite — but said there's not enough information yet to know for sure. Fragments from more than 70 meteors, most of them about 4.6 billion years old, have been recovered across Canada but none so far in Newfoundland, he added.

"It just lit up the sky. It was quite impressive."

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The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary says it received two calls about the strange object that was seen around 7 p.m. local time.

Dymond urged anyone with video or other images to notify the American Meteor Society. The New York-based not-for-profit corporation tracks meteors and fireballs.

The colour white might indicate magnesium, green suggests nickel and yellow can mean sodium content, Dymond explained.

"We can find a whole lot of other information even if we don't find the rock."

Dymond said it's an active period for meteor showers which will extend through most of November.

He usually has a special camera set up for night sky photographs but it was down for repairs Monday.

"Isn't that the way it always is? The time a big one hits you're down cleaning it off or something."

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