Fireball Events

The Tagish Lake Fireball and Meteorite [18-Jan-2000]

Overview of the Event


The meteorite which fell producing the Tagish Lake fireball occurred on January 18, 2000 at approximately 16:43 UT (08:43 PST local). This exceptionally long and bright fireball was seen throughout the Yukon, Northern British Columbia, parts of Alaska, and the Northwest Territories. Thousands of residents of the area witnessed the event and many were able to secure photos and video of the resulting dust cloud. Some produced drawings of what they saw. Scientists from the University of Calgary and the University of Western Ontario began collecting data related to the fireball and meteorite fall in February 2000 in close cooperation with the original finder of meteorites associated with this event, Mr. Jim Brook. Expeditions to the area in mid February secured sufficient instrumental records to derive an atmospheric path, with further refinements from additional data gathered in early April during a second expedition.

This second expedition (which ran from April 6 to May 12, 2000) included significant ground recovery operations which began on April 20, 2000 when the first additional meteorite fragments were recovered from the lake ice. Continuous recovery operations carried out by UWO, U of C, and Jim Brook from April 20 to May 8, 2000 until the lake ice became too unstable resulted in the location of ~500 additional meteorites, documentation of 410 of these and recovery of ~200. The photo gallery shows the methods of retrieval on the ice and the general condition of the meteorites recovered.