Buzzard Coulee Fireball - November 21, 2008
I drove to Lloydminster on December 4, 2008 to help out with a search for meteorites from the Buzzard Coulee fireball that was organized by Alan Hildebrand from the University of Calgary. That day the search team consisted of about 20 people. The field search was lead by two postdocs from the University of Western Ontario, Wayne Edwards and Philip McCausland. Here is Wayne with one of the meteorites we found - it landed right beside a pile of poo (or was it the other way around?):
Well, ok, maybe not the best picture to start out with...
Here are Wayne and Philip giving us a briefing before the search, showing us an sample of what we are looking for:
Of the 20 people there, there were students from the University of Calgary and RASC members from Calgary and Saskatoon (me, Garry Stone and Tenho Tuomi). Here are Gary and Tenho waiting for the search to get started (thanks Tenho for the peanut butter sandwich!):
Below are more images of the search team. On the left, the woman is Ellen Milley; she is Alan Hildebrand's PhD student and she found the first piece of the fireball on a frozen pond. The temperature at that time, and during our search, was about -15C. We organized into 2 groups of about 10 people to systematically search "every square inch" of a couple of fields where small meteorites were found on previous days random searches. On the right is the line that I was part of. The orange vests are to prevent any hunters from shooting us.
Below, left, is the other group/line off in the distance searching the other half of this particular field. They are walking toward a rebar pole with and orange vest tied to it to make sure the field is covered systematically. On the right is the other line walking up to the beginning of our half of the field.
We found about 14 meteorites that day, here is another:
And another, left, below my glove, I think - you have to be almost on top of the meteorite to notice it. From afar it's hard to tell the difference between a meteorite and poo, or a dried up mushroom ("puff balls"). Mel Stauffer, right, a professor of geology for the University of Saskatchewan, joined the search later in the day. Mel has been kind enough to bring his meteorite collection to my 3rd year Solar System class and tell us about all the different varieties of meteorites. An excellent supplement to the math-based lectures I give..
Finally, here is a image of me overlooking Buzzard Coulee, taken by Tenho: