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Fireball lights up the sky above Nova Scotia

Courtesy: Michael Boschat

Courtesy: Michael Boschat


Cheryl Santa Maria
Digital Reporter

Tuesday, December 8, 2015, 5:51 PM - Astrophotographer Michael Boschat has been studying the night sky for nearly 60 years and over the weekend, he managed to capture a once-in-a-lifetime shot.

Two fireballs lit up the sky over Nova Scotia on Sunday around 6 p.m., just as Boschat was setting up his camera and telescope from his home in Halifax, the CBC reports.

He was able to capture an image of the streaks, which were only visible in the sky for about 10 seconds, moments before they vanished out of sight.

Boschat, who is a member of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, emailed the picture to the group. One of the members works at NASA's Ames Research Centre and confirmed the streaks of light were the first stage of an Atlas V rocket that was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida to send the Cygnus spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS). 

Boschat said the fireballs may have looked like meteors to a casual observer, but "you'd never see fireballs travelling sort of parallel to each other, even during a meteor shower," he told the CBC.

"I was pretty happy, kind of lucky," he said of his photograph.

The Cygnus spacecraft is carrying equipment, experiments, supplies and Christmas presents for the ISS crew.

It is its first journey into space since a failed launch in 2014.

Source: CBC

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