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December 5, 2008

Meteor Streaks Prairie Sky

A bright light was reported in Alberta and Saskatchewan Thursday night. It crashed somewhere close to the Red Pheasant First Nation, near Battle ford Saskatchewan. Several people on the reserve said they saw the light. They reported that the band office was shaking when it passed overhead. People across Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan saw it. It was an apparently part of an asteroid and weighed around 10 tonnes! It penetrated the earth at 60 degrees from the horizontal. A reward is being offered in the form of 10,000 for any pieces that are found. Those that did see it said it was as bright as daylight and only lasted a few seconds. No one really knew what it was.

The fireball may have crashed into the ground 200 kilometers south of Calgary. Eyewitness Rob Westland was driving along with his son when they spotted a massive light! The Alberta resident explained that the object was as big as a house. Imagine seeing a house in the sky! The object then crashed into the ground with a boom. Dr. Alan Hildebrand of the University of Calgary is on the case. He expects to collect video tapes from the Lloyd minister region. He expects that pieces of the meteorite will be found in the Manitou Lake rural municipality in northwest Saskatchewan. He compared the fireball was light a billion watt light bulb.

The pieces are expected to be the size of a football and maybe larger. Those are big pieces. They have probably made a crevice in the ground where rock can be seen. The rock probably has a dark grey or black coating. The surface could be dimpled. It is denser then most rocks and could have some magnetic energy. The chunks will belong to the owner of the property where they fall so there will undoubtedly be some plans to work out as far as the movement and investigation of the pieces. Another researcher Dr. Chris Herd wants to take a different approach. He wants to use laser technology, which can clear objects like trees from aerial shots to reveal the crevices.

The laser is mounted in an aircraft and beamed towards the ground. Since there will be pieces of this fireball lying around Dr. Herd also has advice for any person or children who may come across the debris. His advice is that you not handle it with your hands. Pick it up with something else like a bag and store it in that. You could even wrap it in some tin foil. Of course, after that you should notify the proper authorities as to what to do with the fragmented asteroid. Researchers are hoping that the winter snow holds off. If it snows that chance of finding, a fragment is extremely unlikely. A few tips to tell if you have actually found a piece.

-it should have a thin, dark, glassy, black color
-test it to see if it is magnetic

If those two indicators are in line then chances are you have a piece of a monster asteroid!

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