10 July 2009

Canada Meteorite News- Marsden Meteorite Found 10JUL09

Scientists find Prairie space rock


NEAR MARSDEN, Sask. The Canadian Press

Fragments of a 10-tonne asteroid found along the Alberta/Saskatchewan border have already been dubbed the Marsden Meteorite by excited locals.

University of Calgary researchers Alan Hildebrand and graduate student Ellen Millet discovered several pieces of the space rock late Thursday near Marsden, a farming village of 275 people about 270 kilometres southeast of Edmonton.

The search for the space rock began on Nov. 20 after the asteroid was spotted hurtling toward Earth by thousands of people in both Alberta and Saskatchewan. People in the Marsden area not only saw the fireball, which was as bright as a billion-watt light bulb, but they also heard and smelled it.

“It made a rumbling sound and it left a weird smell. This will sound funny, but it smelled like burning rock,” said Glenda Hankins, who owns the Marsden Hotel.

Besides sonic booms, witnesses also reported hearing hissing or crackling noises like frying bacon.

Dr. Hildebrand, a co-ordinator of the Canadian Fireball Reporting Centre with the Canadian Space Agency, said fireballs can act as radio transmitters, causing odd sounds.

He expects that thousands of meteorite fragments were strewn over an estimated 20-square-kilometres near the Battle River.

Grant Jones, a farmer who owns land in the area where many more of the fragments are expected to be found, is already warning interested space rock collectors to ask for permission from property owners before setting out on their hunt. ... (more)

With a report from Canadian Press


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