Earth Sky | An asteroid hit Canada, it may have dropped meteorites

An asteroid hit Canada and may have dropped meteorites

Astronomers detected an asteroid just hours before it hit Earth on Saturday morning (November 19, 2022) near Lake Erie in Canada. This is not the first time this year that astronomers have detected a rock from space just hours before it hit Earth. But this time, it entered Earth’s atmosphere above a populated area, and crossed the skies over Toronto, Canada. So we have video and witnesses who saw, heard and felt the impact. Astronomers said that local residents may be able to find meteorites from the collision.

Western University in Canada said the meteorites may have hit the ground near the southern shore of Lake Ontario, mainly to the north of Saint Catherine. Peter Brown of Western University said:

This fireball is particularly important as the parent meteorite was observed telescopically before it hits the atmosphere. This makes it a rare opportunity to correlate telescopic data of an asteroid with its atmospheric collapse behavior to gain insight into its internal structure.

The researchers asked local residents between Port Wheeler and Virgil, Ontario, to be on the lookout for parts of the space rock. Brown said:

We know from camera records and weather radar that tracked debris falling from the fireball that the meteors hit Earth near or east of Grimsby. What we need now to complete this story is to recover some of these rocks and find out what kind of material Asteroid 2022 WJ1 is made of. This looks a lot like a model for a returning space mission, but in this case the sample fell on us.

Read more about how to find meteorites. And if you find any, contact the Royal Ontario Museum at

Scientists have drawn this region (in red) where a fireball from November 19, 2022 may have reached Earth. Image via Western University.

First report on imminent impact

Yi Kuanzian astronomer at the University of Maryland who studies asteroids, comets and meteorites, mentioned On Twitter at 1:13 AM EST on November 19:

Looks like a space rock is going to fall into the Lake Erie area in about 2 hours (around 3:30 a.m. EST)

Share the link to the NASA Center for Near-Earth Object Studies risk assessment page. The object, C8FF042, has now been removed from the page because it hit Earth and is therefore no longer a threat.

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accurate prediction

2:29 a.m. EST, Richard Moisel He tweeted that the asteroid should impact around 8:26 UTC, which translates to 3:26 a.m. EDT. It turned out to be incredibly accurate, as cameras around Toronto caught lightning strikes at 3:25 and 3:26 in the morning. The CN Tower Camera in Toronto was one of the cameras that watched the asteroid’s nearly horizontal entry.

Asteroid witnesses

Fortunately, the space rock was less than a meter (about 3 feet) in size. The impact should have been around Brantford, Ontario. This is north of Lake Erie. West Buffalo, New York; east of Detroit and southwest of Toronto. With such a populated area, many people had the opportunity to see the fireball entering the atmosphere. People on Twitter reported seeing a bright flash of light, along with the sound of entering the atmosphere and even a vibration, possibly from the sonic boom. Twitter user @TimsDoubleD He said:

I heard it and it felt like my house was moving. It is believed that a generator exploded nearby.

Twitter user @SchefflerKen He said:

It was interesting to see this, but at least I heard it. I had woken up for some reason and after a few seconds the house cracked like a gust of wind and then there was a muffled clatter for two or three seconds.

Some observers have reported a fireball with a magnitude of -10 to -20.

Those few hours of lead time were enough that some people were able to catch C8FF042 with telescopes.

did you see him You can report the fireball with the American Meteor Society here.

The asteroid is now called 2022 WJ1

David Rankin discovered asteroid C8FF042, which the Minor Planet Center named WJ1. Information about the newly discovered asteroid has been circulating on the Minor Planet Mailing List (MPML). He. She He said:

Bill Gray has the point of impact on November 19, 2022 8:26:54.47 UTC, longitude +43.12309, color W80.26416, which is located directly over Brantford, Ontario, Canada.

Sam Dean on MPML He said:

The object will have a heavy grazing impact of only 10-12 degrees or so, and WSW should travel to ENE between Detroit and Buffalo. We can probably expect a great light show, considering the low angle and high population in the area.

More views from Twitter

Bottom line: On November 19, 2022, a small asteroid hit Canada just hours after it was discovered. Researchers ask local residents to be on the lookout for meteorites.

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