Meteor hunting begins in Ontario

April 30th, 2009 - 4:27 pm ICT by ANI  

Toronto, April 30 (ANI): Researchers have issued a call for meteorite-hunters and interested locals to start searching for a meteorite that landed on rural land north of Newmarket, Ontario, in Canada.

The space rock fell to Earth at 8:37 p.m. on March 15 and its blazing trail was picked up by five cameras used by the University of Western Ontario’s Physics and Astronomy Department to scour the Southern Ontario sky for fireballs.

Researchers have since been calculating the most likely place the meteorite fell.

According to a report carried out in, the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) and University of Western Ontario have identified a 100-square-kilometre zone as the most likely debris range, stretching south-east of Mt. Albert to the edge of South Wynhurst, on the shores of Lake Simcoe.

Now, researchers have issued a call for meteorite-hunters and interested locals to start scouring the ground.

“Any time there’s a fireball that looks like it’s producing meteorites, we get quite excited because there’s material to be recovered,” said Royal Ontario Museum associate curator of mineralogy Kim Tait.

Researchers are now hoping local residents will help them find the meteorite. “The more people looking, the more chance we have of finding it,” Dr. Tait said.

The meteorite is likely to be up to the size of a fist. They are often black, and can be shiny or matte on the surface. They are almost always magnetic, and are surprisingly heavy.

If a resident finds one on their property, it automatically belongs to them. Dr. Tait hopes landowners will offer any discovered meteorites up for study. (ANI)

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