Friday, November 19, 2010


Fireball over Nova Scotia November 18, 2010

From the South Shore News in Nova Scotia:

Reports of 'huge ball of fire' in sky turn out to be meteor shower
by Eva Hoare And Patricia Brooks Arenburg, Staff Reporters
Fri, Nov 19 - 4:53 AM

They feared it was a plane crash, but it turned out to be a meteor shower lighting up the night sky.

Emergency crews rushed to the South Shore early Thursday evening after receiving reports that a "huge ball of fire" had fallen from the sky near Exit 16 on Highway 103.

The Mounties and the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Halifax were dispatched to the area near Italy Cross, Lunenburg County.

But after thorough checks, it was determined there was no plane crash, said Scott Burgwin, the search and rescue co-ordinator for the Maritimes.”We’re pretty sure there were no aircraft (in the area),” Burgwin said from the Halifax centre just before 8 p.m. “We think it was some sort of natural phenomena like a meteor shower.”

The call about the fireball came in at about 6:30 p.m. from a paramedic in the area, said RCMP Sgt. Brigdit Leger.

A woman working at a restaurant near Exit 14 on Highway 103 said she heard two RCMP cruisers "go flying by here" at about 6:45 p.m.

Burgwin said co-ordination centre officials checked with Moncton’s air traffic control centre and found that no planes had flight plans for that area and nothing had shown up on radar, Burgwin said.

“We have heard some reports that people saw something,” said Michelle Bishop, spokeswoman for NAV Canada in Ottawa. “We do not have, at this time, any missing aircraft.”

Dave Chapman, past president of the Halifax Centre of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, said “it’s entirely possible that it could have been a fireball associated with the Leonid meteors.”

The Leonid meteor shower, so named because the meteors appear to come from the Leo constellation, happens around Nov. 17 each year, Chapman said. If it was part of this particular shower, a fireball at that time of day would have been travelling from east to west. But fireballs can also occur without meteor showers, he said.
He hadn’t yet heard of the incident when contacted Thursday night but would be interested in hearing more details from the person who reported the fireball and anyone else who saw it.

Anyone who sees a fireball is asked to report it to the Meteorites and Impacts Advisory Committee of Canada at


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