At 11:11 pm (MST), on the night of September 4th, a giant fireball was spotted illuminating the night sky. The sight was captured by our Rocky Isle web cam as the meteor crossed the night sky and landed west of Banff Sunshine Village.


In the span of a few minutes more than 200 calls were received by various emergency response programs and astronomy societies. Spectators of the event we're curious and cautioned by the giant flaming ball they saw galloping through the night sky. Astronomers from the American Meteor Society (AMS) predict that the fireball entered earth atmosphere above the small BC town of Boswell before crashing near Meadow Creek BC.

Although from Sunshine, there is no direct way to get to Meadow Creek, you can see from the google map that Meadow Creek is only about 147 km west of us. 

It's a bird; it's a plane, it's a Fireball!!

The American Meteor Society (AMS) is calling the bright light, witnessed by many in B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan as well as from Washington, Idaho, and Montana, a fireball - which is a fancy way of saying a "very bright meteor," or "bolide." The AMS classifies and piece space dust or debris that incinerates in earth's atmosphere as a meteor. Meteors become meteorites only if the meteor hits the ground.

In less than 10 seconds the meteor enters and vanishes from the frame. Scientists from the AMS explain that meteoroids crash through earth’s atmosphere at insanely high speeds, ranging from 39,600 km/h to 259,200 km/h. As the meteor enters Earth, the speed of which a meteor travels rapidly decelerates as the fireball loses fuel and mass as it collides with air molecules. As the fireball continues its free fall, the light begins to fade, making the meteorite virtually invisible to the human eye.

Watch the fireball fly over Grizzly Lake

For a brightness comparison, the other bright light you see is actually the full moon. The moon's light is completely overshadowed by the fireball. At this time, its unknown if the meteor landed on earth. No remains have been spotted.