14 Nov 2017 7:00 am

OFNC MONTHLY MEETING

Speaker: Howard Simkover
Location: Salon B, K.W. Neatby Building, Central Experimental Farm, 960 Carling Avenue

For hundreds of thousands of years, humans have gazed up into the night sky at shooting stars. These sudden flashes of light – called meteors – are caused by tiny particles from space plunging into the Earth’s atmosphere at very high speeds, and burning up. Several times per year, such as during the Perseids in mid-August, we experience a meteor shower. Perhaps we’ve all had the experience of “wishing on a falling star”. On occasion, a much larger “rock from space” – a meteorite – enters the atmosphere and can even impact the surface of our planet, causing a crater. As far as we know, only one person has ever been struck by a falling meteorite.

In February 2013, a huge object from space exploded over the city of Chelyabinsk, Russia, leading to thousands of injuries from flying glass. It appears that 65.5 million years ago, something much worse happened to the dinosaurs, who experienced a very bad day when an asteroid the size of Ottawa came calling.

Howard Simkover, who has produced shows for Montreal’s Dow Planetarium, will share his experiences and knowledge of meteors and meteorites.

Monthly meetings are open to the general public.