The Shelburne County Coast Guard
Mon, 13 Aug 2012 09:38 CDT
It's looking more and more like a meteor was the cause of a loud mysterious boom heard Sunday night by people across western Nova Scotia.
Several witnesses are describing an object with a fiery green tail that flew across the skyline. David Landry was in Dartmouth when he watched the bright object hurtle across the sky over the Halifax bridges and towards the west shortly after 11 a.m. [?]
He said the object was "much bigger and closer" than any meteorite he had ever seen before.
Moments later people in western Nova Scotia reported hearing the booms and seeing flashes of light.
Shortly after 11 p.m. people from Liverpool to Yarmouth County and beyond reported seeing flashes of light and hearing booms. Some reported hearing two booms, a large boom followed by a smaller boom.
Unlike a lightning bolt, this flashing bluish light was reported to last for more than 30 seconds and the "thunder" was heard and felt for more than 100 miles.
Barry Clark, a professor of Earth Sciences at Dalhousie University, says the event was likely caused by a meteor entering the atmosphere.
Clark said it was interesting that the boom happened during the peak of the annual Perseid meteor shower, an event that was hidden by heavy clouds and rain over Nova Scotia.
No calls about the event were made to the rescue coordination centre in Halifax and there were no calls made to Shelburne RCMP, although several RCMP members reported hearing the boom.
Federal Natural Resources Department officials reported no seismic activity in the area, ruling out an earthquake as a potential source of the boom. Nova Scotia Power also reported no problems with its equipment in the area.
While potentially Clark noted that the boom could have been caused by something else, including by an aircraft sonic boom, he and others were leaning toward an extraterrestrial explanation.
Clark was hopeful that if the boom was caused by a meteor, that pieces of the space visitor would eventually be found. According to provincial officials a meteorite has never been recovered in Nova Scotia.
"...they would be little black rocks ...covered in a fusion crust," said Clark.