Chances of back-to-back meteors in Manitoba ‘astronomical’, expert says – Winnipeg

The meteor that lit up the sky Wednesday night in the Interlake wasn’t the only one Manitobans have seen this week.

Manitoba Planetarium astronomer Scott Young told 680 CJOB that the province — along with neighboring regions — had the extremely rare pleasure of seeing back-to-back meteors on Tuesday and Wednesday.

“It was all over southern Manitoba – actually, all the way to North Dakota and all the way to Saskatchewan…just like the one that happened the night before,” Young said.

“The timing of those two things – the odds against that are astronomical.

“Usually we might see one or two during this monthly period, rather than having them back to back in the same area. Literally, if you were in the right place, you could have seen this once-in-a-lifetime thing on Tuesday. , then see another once-in-a-lifetime thing the next night.

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Despite performing in the sky two nights in a row, Young said the two seemed to be completely unrelated, making the astral event even rarer.

“They don’t follow the same orbit, they don’t come from the same direction or anything like that,” he said. “There have been over 100 reports of them to date, so we have a pretty good idea of ​​their trajectory.

“They don’t seem to be related, it just seems like it was luck of the randomness of the universe that we had these two back to back.”

Young said Wednesday’s meteor appeared to be about the size of a basketball – considerably larger than the shooting stars Manitobans are typically able to spot, which tend to be between the size of a grain of sand and a grain of rice.

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Another Manitoba meteor enthusiast who follows the progress of the province’s twin shooting stars was science writer Chris Rutkowski, who said that while meteors are usually burned up before landing on Earth, it’s very interesting to know where they may have landed.

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“Astronomers have been tracking meteorites — trying to find meteorites on the ground for a number of years because they hold clues to the origin of the solar system,” Rutkowski told 680 CJOB.

“The more reports (researchers) get, the better they can triangulate and figure out where this thing got to.”

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According to Rutkowski, from what he’s seen, the best estimate of a potential location would be somewhere along the Manitoba-Saskatchewan border, but it could also be as far west as Regina or as far east as the Interlake.

“It’s hard to tell if something might have been found, and it may take some effort to find it,” he said.

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