The night sky was briefly lit around Edmonton Saturday evening by what some observers believe was a streaking meteor.
What appeared to be a bright orange ball flew across the sky at 10:23 p.m.
Some residents reported hearing a loud “bang,” while others posted video of the bright object on social media.
Frank Florian, Telus World of Science Planetarium and Space Sciences senior manager, said the object was a fireball or a bright meteor that broke off from a rock in space.
“When that rock from space passes through the earth’s atmosphere very, very quickly, the atmosphere sometimes can’t move out of the way fast enough and that rock will basically disintegrate and break into smaller fragments,” Florian said.
“Eventually, those rocks will make their way down to the surface of the earth and that’s when you can maybe walk over and pick up a little black rock called a meteorite.”
Florian said it is uncertain if the rock left fragments on the earth so researchers are searching for eyewitness accounts.
“It was actually moving from north to south in the eastern sky from the Edmonton region, which tells us if there are fragments somewhere out there, it could be in southeastern Alberta,” he said.
Florian said researchers are investigating the size of the object.
There have been other such incidents in Alberta in recent years, but Florian said they are extremely difficult to predict.
“Most of these things just happen whenever they are in the earth’s vicinity and actually hit the earth’s atmosphere, so we can’t really predict many of these at all really,” he said.