meteroite-uwo-080311

The astronomy department at the University of Western Ontario captured this rare footage of a meteor streaking to Earth last week over Parry Sound, Ont. (University of Western Ontario)

Astronomers from the University of Western Ontario are searching for a meteorite that landed in central Ontario last week.

The "large fireball" was captured falling last Wednesday at 10:59 p.m. ET by sky-monitoring cameras at the London, Ont.-based university. Astronomers narrowed the impact site down to about 12 square kilometres centred on Parry Sound, which is around 220 kilometres north of Toronto.

Associate professor Peter Brown and post-doctoral student Wayne Edwards put out a call to residents of the region for signs of the meteorite or meteorites. Most meteors burn up in the atmosphere by the time they get to within 60 or 70 kilometres of the Earth, but this one was tracked until 24 kilometres.

"We are pretty sure there are at least one, and possibly many meteorites, that made it to the ground," Edwards said on the university's website.

The astronomers said the rocks would probably weigh a kilogram or slightly more, but acknowledged the chances of finding a large chunk were not good given that the meteorite seems to have fallen into a lake in the area.

The university said it would like to find any of the meteorites for research purposes.

"We would love to find a recovered meteorite on this one, because we have the video and we have the data, and by putting that together with the meteorite, there is a lot to be learned," Edwards said.

The researchers have created a map to help people find the space rocks. The map, along with the video footage of the meteorite falling, are posted on the university's website.