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TitleForensic investigation of a probable meteor sighting using USArray acoustic data
AuthorEdwards, W N; de Groot-Hedlin, C D; Hedlin, M A H
SourceSeismological Research Letters vol. 85, no. 5, 2014 p. 1012-1018,
Alt SeriesEarth Sciences Sector, Contribution Series 20130492
PublisherSeismological Society of America (SSA)
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf
NTS31B; 31G; 31H; 31I; 31J
AreaMalone; Montreal; Canada; United States of America
Lat/Long WENS-76.0000 -72.0000 47.0000 43.0000
Subjectsextraterrestrial geology; geophysics; meteorite craters; meteorites; remote sensing
Illustrationslocation maps; tables
ProgramCanadian Hazard Information Service
Released2014 09 02
The addition of atmospheric acoustic sensors as part of the transportable stations of USArray has allowed a detailed explanation to be provided to the public and media regarding a significant meteor event observed over the region of Montreal, Canada. The meteor, obscured by cloudy conditions, was perceived by residents only as a bright blue flash followed subsequently by loud thunderous sounds and rumbling. The event quickly became a source of great public interest and inquiry. This primarily acoustic event went nearly unobserved by all regional seismic instruments, but was a significant source of infrasonic sound readily recorded by barometric and microbarometric sensors currently in the region. Infrasonic detections of ballistic shockwaves and the meteoroid¿s subsequent break-up were observed over hundreds of kilometers and constrain the object to a generally north-south trajectory. Size estimates for the object, based on signal characteristics, range between 0.2 ¿ 0.6 m in diameter for a spherical body, depending upon its velocity. Due to the USArray acoustic capabilities a detailed explanation to this highly unusual event was able to be provided to media for public consumption from trusted sources, where speculation and conjecture may have otherwise run rampant.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
On the night of November 26, 2013 a bright blue flash followed by thunderous sounds and rumbling was observed by many residents along the Ottawa-Montreal corridor. The event was thought to be a meteor, and quickly became an item of great public interest and media attention. Sensitive low frequency microphones onboard USArray seismic stations currently in the region were used to not only confirm the event, which was recorded over several hundred kilometers to the southeast, but also constrain its trajectory over the region and estimate its size. This information was then available to quickly communicate to media through academic channels.

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