Fireball witnessed in evening sky across Southern Ontario

The ROM and UWO appeal to public to help find fragments

The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) and The University of Western Ontario (UWO) are looking for help from local residents who witnessed, or who may have found fragments, of a meteorite which likely fell north of Peterborough on the evening of Monday, December 12.
UWO astronomers have released footage of the meteor, which was captured by its highly advanced video surveillance system, traveling through the evening sky. Although this bright fireball occurred near the peak of the annual Geminid meteor shower, it is unrelated to the shower.

At 6:04 pm, six cameras of Western's Southern Ontario Meteor Network recorded a slow-moving fireball, estimated no bigger than a basketball, which first entered the atmosphere at a shallow angle of 25 degrees from the horizontal moving at 14 km per second. It first became visible over Lake Erie, and then moved toward the north-northeast ending at an altitude of 31 km just south of the town of Selwyn, Ontario. It is likely to have dropped small meteorites in a region to the East of Selwyn near the eastern end of Upper Stony Lake.

The video data suggest an end mass that may total as much as a few kilograms, likely in the form of many fragments in one gram to hundreds of a gram size range.

“Finding a meteorite from a fireball captured by video is equivalent to a planetary sample return mission,” says Peter Brown, the Director of Western's Centre for Planetary & Space Exploration. “We know where the object comes from in our solar system and can study it in the lab. Only about a dozen previous meteorite falls have had their orbits measured by cameras so each new event adds significantly to our understanding of the small bodies in the solar system. In essence, each new recovered meteorite is adding to our understanding of the formation and evolution of our own solar system.”

If you think you may have found a meteorite fragment, please contact Dr. Kimberly Tait, ROM Associate Curator of Mineralogy at 416.586.5820 or

To arrange media interviews with Peter Brown, Director of Western University's Centre for Planetary & Space Exploration, please contact Jeff Renaud at 519.661.2111, ext. 85165 or

For videos of the fireball, please visit:

For an overview, images and a map of the fireball’s path, please visit:

For a map of the meteorite’s probable fall area, please visit: