Cameras installed across Alberta to discover meteorites
Four high-tech cameras were installed in Alberta as part of a world-wide network to find meteorites quicker.
The cameras are part of the Australia-based Desert Fireball Network (DFN), which now has 50 cameras across the world to track meteorites.
“If you have a bunch of cameras and you see something coming through the atmosphere, a fireball, but you see it from different angles, you can work out exactly its orientation,” DFN’s Phil Bland said.
The cameras give researchers a three-kilometre ratio of where the meteor landed.
Before this technology, people would see a fireball soar across the sky, but have no idea where it landed.
It happened in Manning, Alta. five years ago, and in Fort McMurray earlier this year.
“We just didn’t have the observations to be able to do much about it,” said Chris Herd, University of Alberta meteorite collection curator.
The U of A is DFN’s base in western Canada. One of the four cameras in Alberta is on campus—the others are in Athabasca, Vermillion and Miquelon Lake.
More, and quicker, access to meteors helps experts answer questions about the solar system.
“That’s the most tangible thing,” Herd said. “You pick up the rock that’s actually just arrived from space, and all the scientific information that we can get from that.”
The network wants to set up 12 cameras in Alberta by the end of the year.
With files from Bill Fortier