Meteor Lights Up Sky Over Perth, Loud Boom Reported

August 29, 2018 Updated: August 29, 2018

Dozens of people witnessed a ‘meteor’ lighting up the night sky in Mindarie, Western Australia.

Last night at around 7:40 p.m. local time, many people called various authorities to report that a blue light was streaking through the sky before it became really bright and hit the ground, Perth Now reported.

Robyn Garratt witnessed the event from York, a town 100 kilometers east of Perth, the ABC reported.

When he initially saw the light, Garratt thought it may have been lightning. But that guess went out the window when he heard the boom that came afterward.

“It shook the whole house, the windows, the dog went psycho,” said Garratt. “They all went running outside thinking the sky was falling.”

Matt Woods from the Perth Observatory, which posted all the video submissions they received over the night to their Instagram account, said that based on the object’s trajectory and speed, the object was most likely to be a meteor.

Where Did the ‘Meteor’ Land?

Curtin University scientists are trying to find out whether the meteor hit the ground and where it landed, the ABC reported.

According to Purdue University, when meteors enter the atmosphere, high-pressure air enters into the cracks and pores which can cause it to break apart and explode before it lands.

Professor of Planetary Science Phil Bland, leader of Curtin University’s Desert Fireball Network, told PerthNow that it is likely that this meteor landed.

“People reported sonic booms,” said Bland. “You only get that if it goes through the atmosphere low down in the atmosphere, which is a very good sign.”

Bland also said that by using the different angles from the camera recordings, his team may be able to triangulate the location of the meteor, if it landed at all.

They would also attempt to estimate the size and speed of the meteor, and where it came from within the Solar System.

Most meteors travel at very high speeds ranging between 15 to 20 kilometers per second, Bland told PerthNow. He added that only two to three percent of meteors remain mostly intact by the time they reach the ground.

He told the ABC that an intact meteor would have to be quite big and be moving slower than 4 kilometers per second.

Bland said that The Desert Fireball Network expected to finish their calculations by the end of the day on Aug. 28.

After the calculations, they would attempt to find the meteorite in the hopes of being able to study it.

“Meteorites are a great scientific resource in terms of working out how the solar system formed and how it evolved,” Bland told the local media.

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