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Apparent meteor seen streaking across the night sky in Calgary, Banff

Video captures bright object in sky at Alberta ski resort
WATCH: One of the cameras at Sunshine Village Ski Resort in Alberta captured a bright object falling over the Rocky Mountains on Feb. 19, 2020.

A quick, bright flash of light falling through the sky isn’t something you see every day in a big city like Calgary, but that’s just the surprise Mariah Fillmore and her husband got on Tuesday night.

While sitting on the couch in their living room in the southeast community of Forest Lawn at about 12:35 a.m., Fillmore said her husband saw something bright flash in the corner of his eye. When they both got up to go take a peek outside, there was nothing to be seen.

“Our window had lit up really bright,” she said Wednesday.

Possible meteor captured in Calgary’s Auburn Bay neighbourhood
Possible meteor captured in Calgary’s Auburn Bay neighbourhood

READ MORE: Bright lights above Edmonton aren’t UFOs, says scientist

Fillmore said they immediately thought to check their security camera and that’s when they saw it — whatever “it” was.

“I sat and watched it about 20 times going, ‘What is that?'” she said.

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“At first I thought it maybe was just a shooting star but then it was like, ‘Nope, that’s definitely coming straight down,” Fillmore said, adding that for a quick second, the idea of a UFO did cross her mind.

“It’s the first time I’ve ever seen anything like it — it was kind of amazing to actually see and just wonder exactly what it was,” she said.

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Amazing — and a coincidence, too.

Fillmore said her security camera is set to turn on only when it detects motion, and it typically activates for vehicles or large amounts of motion, so she was surprised the camera even recorded the 15-second spectacle.

She said typically, they don’t review any video that’s less than 45 seconds long, so if her husband hadn’t been “in the right place at the right time” to see it in the corner of his eye, they would have never spotted the apparent meteor flying across the sky.

Calgary security camera captures bright object in sky
Calgary security camera captures bright object in sky

Fillmore wasn’t the only person to catch the bright shot of light; it was also seen much further west in Banff, captured on the Jackrabbit Chairlift webcam at Sunshine Village.

READ MORE: Videos capture bright object streaking across Alberta skyline

According to Kendra Schurfield, a Sunshine Village representative, the camera caught the zooming light at about 12:16 a.m.

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She said the web cameras on the hill are high definition, so it’s not unusual to capture video of meteors and the northern lights.

According to Fabio Ciceri, a PhD student in planetary science at the University of Calgary, while there’s not a whole lot of information available right now, researchers think the trajectory of the fireball put it near Abraham Lake. He also said it was likely a big one.

“From the video, we see a lot of fragmentation, a lot of different flashes,” he said. “That could suggest the meteorite was quite big — [there are] lots of shadows, that shows it was quite bright.”
New University of Alberta video helps amateurs differentiate rocks from meteorites
New University of Alberta video helps amateurs differentiate rocks from meteorites

He said considering the size and fragmentation, it could suggest some space rocks survived and landed on the earth’s surface.

“If there’s a possibility and we can get a good trajectory, we could go try to find the rocks,” he said, adding that depending on where it landed — like high on a mountain peak for example — funding the meteorites could be impossible.

Ciceri said it’s not unique to have fireballs and meteors streaking across the sky, but the size of this one makes it “not something you see every day.”

He said just a few weeks ago, there was also a confirmed daylight fireball over Calgary.