CROYDON, Australia (NEXSTAR) — Surveillance cameras captured the moment a streaking fireball lit up the night sky over Australia this past weekend. Now, citizen scientists and collectors are working to find a possible crash site and any pieces of the meteorite.
The apparent meteor was spotted near Croydon, Queensland Saturday night, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).
The sonic boom felt by Croydon residents indicates that a meteorite could have struck near the town instead of just burning up as it passed through the atmosphere, Professor Phil Bland of Curtin University’s School of Earth and Planetary Sciences told the outlet.
“The object would have come down quite close” to the town of Croydon, Bland said. “In most cases, the entire thing burns up and nothing lands, but there is a chance that something landed.”
That is just what the 45,000-plus members of the Australian Meteor Reports Facebook group are hoping. The group has seen its numbers grow by more than 1,000 since the fireball was recorded, David Finlay, who runs the group, told ABC.
Footage captured by a camera at Cairns Airport shows the meteor flashing bright green as it falls to Earth.
“We witnessed some pretty incredible activity across our skies last night,” the airport wrote on Facebook.
Australian media cited astrophysicist Brad Tucker as saying the object was “definitely a meteor.”
He estimated the rock would have measured between 1.5 and 3 feet in diameter, and was traveling at a speed of 62,000-93,000 mph, the ABC said.
Last week, another space rock was captured on camera lighting up the night sky, this time over Maine.
A Maine police sergeant’s dashboard cam captured the officer saying, “Oh, my God!” as the streaking meteor lit up the sky.
Storyful contributed to this report.