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Fireball seen all over West

At least one expert believes a bright flash that lit up the sky over parts of Western Canada on Monday night was likely caused by a space rock that weighed up to 10 tonnes when it barrelled into the Earth's atmosphere.

There were reports of a mysterious fireball streaking across the sky in several locations, including Calgary, the Okanagan, Kootenays and Vancouver Island.

In some areas of Southern B.C., people said the light was followed by a loud booming sound.

Alan Hildebrand, an associate professor of geoscience at the University of Calgary, said based on videos he saw, the object appeared to be exceptional in size when it entered the atmosphere — between one and 10 tonnes.

"Fireballs occur all the time, but this was particularly bright," he said.

He suspects the massive rock likely broke up into chunks ranging from 10 kilograms to smaller than pea-sized and that the meteorites may have landed somewhere between Slocan Lake and Arrow Lakes in the rugged B.C. Interior.

By the time they landed, the fragments would have cooled off, Hildebrand said.

The American Meteor Society said on its website that it received nearly 200 reports of the fireball, mostly in B.C. But it was also seen from Alberta, Saskatchewan, Washington State, Idaho and Montana.

It said, according to its latest estimated trajectory, it entered the atmosphere near the small town of Boswell B.C. and travelled in a southeast to northwest direction to Meadow Creek, B.C.



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