Shooting stars are by nature fleeting, and it's rare that one is videotaped while falling to Earth.
But on the evening of March 5 (at 10:59 p.m. EST, to be exact), the University of Western Ontario's network of all-sky cameras captured video of a large fireball, said university researcher Peter Brown.
Several people contacted the university to say they had seen the light.
Brown and post-doctoral associate Wayne Edwards hope to enlist the help of local residents in recovering one or more possible meteorites, which would probably weigh about a kilogram (2.2 pounds).
"Most meteoroids burn up by the time they hit an altitude of 60 or 70 kilometers [37 or 43 miles] from Earth," said Edwards. "We tracked this one to an altitude of about 24 kilometers [15 miles] so we are pretty sure there are at least one, and possibly many, meteorites that made it to the ground."
Edwards says they can narrow the ground location where the meteorite, probably an object from our solar system's main belt of asteroids between Mars and Jupiter, would have fallen within about 4.6 square miles (12 square kilometers) and have created a map that may assist in locating the meteorite.
"We would love to find a recovered meteorite on this one, because we have the video and we have the data and by putting that together with the meteorite, there is a lot to be learned," he said.
Most of the fallen material probably fell into nearby Lake Erie or Lake Huron, Edwards told SPACE.com, but "some of the smaller fragments might have reached the shore."
There is no directed search to find the fragments, but Edwards, who studies the low frequency sounds made by meteors moving through the atmosphere, thought it was a good idea to put out the call to the public in case something turned up.
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