SASKATOON, Saskatchewan – Scientists say they hope to find remnants of a meteor that brilliantly lit up the sky before falling to earth in western Canada.
University of Calgary planetary scientist Alan Hildebrand called it one of the largest meteors visible in the country in the last decade.
Widely broadcast video images showed what appeared to be a speeding fireball Thursday night over Saskatoon that became larger and brighter before disappearing as it neared the ground.
Hildebrand said Friday that he received about 300 email reports from witnesses.
"It would be something like a billion-watt light bulb," said Hildebrand, who also co-ordinates meteor sightings with the Canadian Space Agency.
Tammy Evans was wakened by her 10-year-old daughter who ran into the bedroom.
"She said there was a flash of light, the house shook twice and it sounded like dinosaurs were walking," Evans said.
Hildebrand suspects it broke up into pieces and he plans to investigate around Macklin, Saskatchewan near the Alberta border.
Rick Huziak, an amateur astronomer in Saskatoon, helped operate a camera on top of the University of Saskatchewan physics building that captured video of the meteor.
"It was quite spectacular. The ground lights up all over the place," he said.
Martin Beech, an associate professor of astronomy at the University of Regina, said meteorites are valuable to learning about the history of the solar system.
"Picking up a meteorite is almost equivalent to doing a space exploration mission between Mars and Jupiter," he said.