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November 26, 2008

John Phillips consults his map approximately five miles from the Alberta border, west of Manitou Lake, Sask. on Sunday afternoon as he hunts for a fireball that ripped through the sky late Thursday afternoon. Phillips says his wife Bridgid was in their Lashburn home and was nervous when he got home because the “whole house shook”. She didn’t see the flash but heard a boom that shook the garage as well. Phillips didn’t find any traces of the space rock after looking all the way south to Suffern Lake but called on Monday morning, November 24 and said that he and a friend, Larry Weir who saw a smoke trail north of Turtle Lake were going out again to look. Story in this paper. ©Provost News Photo.

Fireball Pieces May be Near
Many people in the Provost area and other parts of Alberta, Saskatchewan and even Manitoba saw a giant fireball from outer space light up the sky late Thursday afternoon, November 20.

Dr. Christopher Herd, Associate Professor, Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Alberta told The Provost News that the chances fragments may be found are “pretty good.” He says this was a “very bright fireball, which indicates that the size of the rock was large. Even though it breaks up as it falls, the large size of the initial rock increases the chances of meteorites being found. That is, it is very unlikely that the rock completely burned up or disintegrated.”

Fireballs are rocks that enter the atmosphere at over 60,000 km/h (37,200 miles per hour). The speed friction with the atmosphere, causing the outside of the rock to heat and light up.

The News editor Rich Holmes was outside taking pictures in the dark of Christmas decorations downtown at approximately 5:30 p.m. when looking through the view finder of the camera he saw a flash of light and the area light up. “At first I thought it was either car lights reflecting off of large plate glass windows or maybe sheet lightning.” Many others in town at that time also saw the light and some in the area reported hearing a rumble.

The News interviewed Herd about the unusual event:
PN: Any reports yet of someone finding a piece of the space rock?
CH: None yet, but I gather that people are looking in the area not far from Provost.

PN: Would snow conceal fragments easily?
CH: Yes, it would.

PN: What might people look for?
CH: Black on the outside, and if broken open, likely grey, cement-looking on the inside. Meteorites are typically magnetic. This can be tested with a fridge magnet.

PN: What size or weight might fragments be?
CH: Could be a few centimeters across (size of an orange or smaller) to quite large (size of a basketball). Meteorites are more dense than typical Earth rocks, so they could weigh a lot. Imagine a basketball that weighs 30 kilograms (66 pounds), although that size would be rare. There could be hundreds of pieces.

PN: Might fragments be found north and east of the Provost area as some media have reported?
CH: Yes, I think that is possible.

PN: Weight of this meteorite as it entered atmosphere might have been what?
CH: Somewhere in the range of a few tonnes.

PN: How old might it be?
CH: Meteorites mostly come from the asteroid belt. Rocks from there are four and a half billion years old.

PN: Its origins?

Full interview and story in November 26 edition of The Provost News.
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Bodo Dig Site, St. Norbert’s Church to Get Marketing Boost
The Bodo Archaeological Society and a partner in this area, the Wainwright Buffalo National Park Interpretive Centre Foundation will share $344,965 to develop a Buffalo Adventures marketing initiative.

Full story and photo in November 26 edition of The Provost News.
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Duane Austin, a Comeback Cowboy Champion
Full story in November 26 edition of The Provost News.
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Street Spokesman
This week we ask : "Did You See the Fireball in the Sky Late Thursday Afternoon?"
. . . and we heard answers from Francis Bovencamp, Doris Heck, Clarence Stang, Lorna Bovencamp, and Mariella Key. Check out the November 26 edition of The Provost News for their answers.
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This, along with many other stories and pictures can be found in this week's edition of The Provost News.
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