No new meteorites had been identified in Canada for over a decade, but that changed dramatically on June 14, 1994. At about 8:00 p.m. EST, a fireball visible over Quebec, Ontario, and the adjacent US states, was followed by a sonic boom. This signalled the explosion of a meteor and subsequent fall of meteorite fragments northeast of Montreal.
Within minutes of the impact, Stephane Forcier found the first fragment on his family’s farm in St-Robert. He had noticed the cows standing in a circle looking at a small hole. Reaching into it, he lifted out what he thought was a 2.3 kilogram rock. The following day the curator of the Geological Survey of Canada’s National Meteorite Collection Richard Herd confirmed that it was a stony meteorite and acquired it for the collection. During the following months, about 25 kilograms of meteorite fragments were recovered, with the largest weighing 6.5 kilograms.
The St-Robert meteorite, only the 12th recorded fall in Canada since 1877, was of exceptional scientific interest because the fragments were recovered so quickly after impact. This allowed the Survey to immediately organize time-critical measurements of short-lived isotopes that can reveal information about the source and history of the meteorite.
Category: Rocks, Fossils, Minerals and Meteorites
Herd, R.K. and Herd, C.D.K., 2015. RASC Observer’s Handbook 2015; Royal Astronomical Society of Canada.