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Meteor lights up Cochrane sky

“They definitely don’t come along very often, these moments.”

COCHRANE— A meteor lit up the sky over Cochrane in the early hours of Monday morning (Feb. 22).

At roughly 6:20 a.m. Cochrane resident Syenna Tomecek saw the falling rock from her Bow Ridge residence while she was getting her daughter ready for the school day.

Tomecek said she was on the phone with her husband who was on his way to work when both of them witnessed a bright flash in the sky to the north of their residence.

“He thought he was driving through the twilight zone, and I was like, ‘no, I saw that,’” she said. “And then we heard this crack like thunder, and that was what my daughter had heard. She was downstairs in her bedroom getting ready for school but she came upstairs when she heard this crack.”

Her daughter suggested that they check their doorbell camera, which revealed a massive flash which lit up the sky in front of their house. When they checked their back-door camera, which points north, they saw the meteor streak across the sky.

“We saw what we think is a meteorite flying through the air, and there was just this massive blue halo in the sky,” she said.

When she saw the flash, she said, she was amazed.

“It’s cool because obviously things fall from the sky and there are things constantly falling to earth out of space, but this kind of reminds you that it’s real, it really does happen,” she said.

Another Cochrane resident, Shane Garyk was driving from Cochrane to Calgary to begin his work day when the bright flash lit up the dark Highway.

“I was driving on my way to work this morning going along the 1A, and halfway between Cochrane and Bearspaw, I saw a really bright blue flash of light,” he said.

Initially, Garyk said, he thought the flash had been caused by damaged power infrastructure overloading or something of that nature.

“I didn’t see what it was, just a bright blue flash. I honestly thought there was a major power outage or something because I’ve seen blue flashes like that from electricity being overloaded or something like that. I looked to my left and I didn’t see anything, but I thought I saw a big streak of light in the air and I thought that doesn’t seem like electricity, that’s got to be something else.”

A little later, Garyk said, he looked online to see if he could find out what had happened and saw the reports of the meteor sighting on social media.

“I thought it was absolutely incredible," he said. "It rarely happens at all, so when you get to see it and experience even parts of it, it’s really a phenomenal experience."

While he only caught the tail of the meteor, and not the whole show, Garyk said he knew he had witnessed a special and rare event.

“They definitely don’t come along very often, these moments,” he said.

The American Meteor Society is always on the lookout for events like these. If you want to report what you saw, visit amsmeteors.org/ to make a report.