‘Never seen anything like that’: Yukoner’s dashcam captures brighter-than-usual meteor

A woman from Mount Lorne, Yukon, recorded video on her dashcam of what one space science expert says appears to be an unusually-bright meteor travelling across the sky.

“Well, I swore,” Louise Cooke said with a laugh, describing seeing the bright object in the distance.

“I’ve never seen anything like that before, and I don’t think I will again.”

Cooke said she captured the video on September 14 at about 9:09 p.m. as she was driving in her hamlet.

It shows a bright object moving across the sky before being obscured by a mountain.

“It looked a lot brighter in person,” Cooke said. “In the video, it looks white, but it has kind of green and purple around it, as I could see it.”

An animated GIF version, including a slowed-down version, of Louise Cooke’s video of an apparent meteor seen from Mount Lorne, Yukon. (Submitted by: Louise Cooke (edited by the CBC))

Several other Yukoners commented via Facebook that they saw something similar that night.

Martin Connors, a professor of space science at Athabasca University, said the object in the video appears to be a meteor.

“You’re looking at something  … between the size of a basketball and a refrigerator, probably,” he said with a chuckle. He said it was “hurtling into the atmosphere going, you know, probably 30 kilometres per second.”

Meteors are relatively common to see — potentially several an hour if you’re in a particularly dark area, Connors said.

“This one is brighter than most that you would see,” he said.

“It’s not really on fire. It’s just heated as if it was in a blow torch and glowing red hot or even white hot, and so that’s the light that we see.”

It’s not clear if the meteor exploded in the end. If it did, then that would be a sign there could be meteorites on the ground, Connors said.

“Probably, it just fizzled out,” he said.

Cooke said she only had her dashcam for about a week at that time, and she feels privileged to have witnessed the meteor.

“It was pretty cool,” she said.

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