Canadian Meteorites

Most of the Canadian meteorites confirmed so far have been found in the southern part of the country.
To date, 53 Canadian meteorites have been officially identified: 14 are from observed falls, while 39 are finds. Twelve finds are in the process of being classified, which raises the total to 65 meteorites. About 7,000 meteorites reach the Earth's surface every year. Of this number, a little more than one hundred fall in Canada. The very great majority of Canadian meteorites are never found.

Why are so few meteorites found in a country that is so big? Canada's population density is low, except in the extreme southern part of the country. Meteorites that fall in the north have little chance of being seen, and once on the ground, they are rapidly altered by the changing seasons. Since 1994, however, Canadian meteorites are being discovered at a steady pace, because the population has become better informed about these objects from space.

One of the 700 fragments of the Bruderheim meteorite that fell in Alberta on March 4, 1960.
The National Meteorite Collection of Canada has more than 2,700 specimens representing 2,000 different meteorites. This collection is managed by the Geological Survey of Canada and contains a fragment from nearly every meteorite find and fall in Canada.

The meteorite collection at the Planétarium de Montréal currently includes close to 200 specimens, the largest public collection in Quebec. The collection began with the meteorite fall in Saint-Robert, Quebec, near Sorel, in the spring of 1994. Nine Canadian meteorites are represented in the collection at the Planétarium de Montréal, three of which are Quebec meteorites: Saint-Robert, Penouille, and a new one, Chibougamau, in the process of being classified.

Slice of the iron meteorite Chibougamau, which is in the process of being classified.

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Credits.  Last Modified: 2005-09-30