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UPDATED: Possible meteor spotted in central Alberta sky

Video shared on social media
A porch security camera near Rocky Mountain House captured what appeared to be a meteor on Tuesday night. (Photo from video by Kaitlyn Kostyniuk)

A big, bright ball of light was spotted in the sky near Rocky Mountain House on Tuesday night.

Rocky-area resident Kaitlyn Kostyniuk captured what appeared to be a meteor falling from the sky on video from her front porch security camera at 8:44 p.m.

Kostyniuk said she heard a rumbling just before she received a motion notification from the security camera.

The sound reminded her of the sound a semi truck makes while slowing down, but her house, about a 10-minute drive north of Rocky, isn’t anywhere near a highway.

She immediately checked the video, but didn’t suspect that the sound may be connected to the light until after she posted her video online and found out that others as far away as Beaumont saw the light and heard a boom.

“I’ve definitely seen meteors going through the sky at night time, but nothing that big,” Kostyniuk said.

“I am really enjoying hearing everybody theorize about it, all the new information that keeps popping up. Everybody is keeping me pretty well in the loop. I guess we’ll wait it out and see what comes of it.”

She said of course a few kooky friends and family have joked that aliens may be involved.

“For my peace of mind, I’m going to go with meteorite,” Kostyniuk laughed.


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Alice Koning, community outreach co-ordinator at the Kerry Wood Nature Centre, said it’s reasonable to believe the fire ball was a meteor.

“Space is kind of a dirty place. We’re constantly getting shooting stars and meteors,” said Koning who happened to be hosting a Planet Party for the public at the centre on Wednesday, between 5 and 6 p.m. to view the moon, Jupiter, Saturn, and Venus with the centre’s telescope.

She said some scientists will definitely want to determine what Tuesday’s meteor was made of, how big it was, how fast it was travelling, and more.

“If it’s more metallic then it’s more likely to survive versus if it’s more porous, more rocky. That can pretty much be obliterated.”

She said the trajectory of the meteor would have to be analyzed to determine if it was part of the Germinid meteor shower that will peak the night of Dec. 13. The shower will be visible in central Alberta.

At 32 weeks pregnant, Kostyniuk said she definitely won’t go hunting for the meteor, but wanted to post her video to help others in their search.

“I’d like to know exactly what it was and where it went, for sure.”

Kostyniuk said she has been so tired from the pregnancy she unfortunately hasn’t been able to stay awake for other events, like recent northern lights displays.

“I’m missing out on a lot of cool stuff so it was very exciting for me last night to be able to capture something like that,” said Kostyniuk who was getting ready for bed Tuesday night when the meteor appeared.

Until now her recently upgraded security camera has only caught deer running back and forth on the driveway, and last week she reduced the camera’s sensitivity after blowing snow kept triggering the motion camera.


VIDEO: Fireball meteor streaks across sky, spotted by early-morning risers in Alberta, B.C.

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Susan Zielinski

About the Author: Susan Zielinski

Susan has been with the Red Deer Advocate since 2001. Her reporting has focused on education, social and health issues.
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