Skywatchers in Western Australia saw an incredible fireball on Tuesday night (August 28), and many were fortunate enough to film the spectacle on film.
The fireball was a meteor about 1.6 feet (50 centimeters) across the Earth's atmosphere at 19:40. Local time (7:40 am EDT and 1140 GMT), a spokesman for the nearby Perth Observatory wrote in an email to Space.com.
#Perth #WA We have reports of a large #meteor flying over Perth. If you have photos or videos, please send them to us. You can also download @FireballsSky and report it to @CurtinUni s #FireballsInTheSky . #perthnews https://t.co/Drju2TC6J1
– Perth Observatory (@perthobs) August 28, 2018
The speaker wrote that the observatory received "dozens of calls from hectic people" who saw the meteor entering.
Because so many people are capturing videos from the fireball Scientists may be able to use the movie to break their trajectory through the sky.
Scientists from the Fireballs in the Sky team of the Curtin University are watching the fireball observations that local residents have made hoping to track down remains of the meteor. According to the Perth Observatory, scientists are focusing their research on the city of York, 60 miles (100 kilometers) east of Perth, the capital of the state of Western Australia.
Last night's video compilation #Firerball near #Perth from @BBCWorld . Every other material comes in, it helps! Dashcams on the Great Eastern Hwy, security shots of York, it's getting tight in the search down! @CurtinMedia https://t.co/vu63evYT6b
– Fireballs in the Sky (@FireballsSky) August 29, 2018
Meteorites can be difficult to distinguish from terrestrial rocks, but they tend to have a black coating and be slightly heavier than normal rocks.
Meteorite research can help scientists better understand the asteroids from which the rocks fall, which in turn can help them assess the risks of larger meteors that not only illuminate the sky.