Meteorite field found in Saskatchewan

A shower of space rocks over Canada has solar system researchers buzzing, and we have pictures from the scene.
By | Published: December 1, 2008 | Last updated on May 18, 2023
November 20 fireball 100 gram meteorite fragment
A local farmer found this fragment from the November 20, 2008, fireball that broke up over Saskatchewan. This chunk weighs approximately 100 grams and is about 5 centimeters in diameter. A piece of the inside ablated in flight slightly after fracturing.
Richard Huziak
November 20 fireball 1.5 kilogram meteorite fragment
A local farmer found this meteorite from the November 20, 2008, fireball that broke up over Saskatchewan. This fragment weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms and is about 8 centimeters in diameter.
Richard Huziak
November 20 fireball 38.6 gram meteorite fragment
Richard Huziak found this fragment of the November 20, 2008, fireball over Saskatchewan. It weighs 38.6 grams and is 5 centimeters by 3 centimeters by 1.5 centimeters. It’s Huziak’s very first find.
Richard Huziak
December 1, 2008
The University of Calgary announced Friday that it had found several meteorite fragments that apparently came from a November 20 meteor that broke up over western Canada. University of Calgary planetary scientist Alan Hildebrand and graduate student Ellen Milley said they had located the fragments late Thursday.

Scientists believe the meteor exploded in the air, spreading meteorites over a 7.7-square-mile (20 square kilometers) area near the city of Lloydminster, Alberta. Researchers believe the object that exploded was a 10-ton fragment that originally came from an asteroid. It’s possible that thousands of meteorites may have fallen over the area.

Friday afternoon, the two led a group of reporters to the site — a region called Buzzard Coulee, about 25 miles (40 km) from Lloydminster. There, close to a frozen pond, the travelers saw numerous small rocks and pebbles that the scientists said were from the meteorite. The group saw no large chunks, however.

Thousands of people from Edmonton, Alberta, to Edgeley, Saskatchewan, saw the fireball November 20. Hundreds called police stations to report the incident, and a now-famous video captured the brilliant event. In addition to the brilliance, many people observed various colors — red, green, white, and blue — as the meteor descended.

Most onlookers would have spotted the blazing fireball when it was between 18 and 36 miles (30 and 60 km) up. Several residents of Lloydminster, however, reported they heard the fireball pass by much closer.

Astronomers define a meteor as a particle of solar system debris that enters Earth’s atmosphere and glows due to friction. When the particle is in space, it is a meteoroid. If any pieces of the meteor reach Earth’s surface, they are meteorites.