December 4, 2005
ABC TV, Australia
A Perth astronomer says a spectacular light show in the sky last night was a meteor.
Photo: Astronomers think the meteor was about the size of a Volkswagen.
Sightings were made as far south as Albany and inland through the Wheat Belt.
Peter Birch, from Astronomy West, estimates the meteor was about the size of a basketball.
"It's come in across the state of Western Australia and burnt up in the atmosphere down over the south-west," he said.
"It may well have gone out over the southern ocean.
"It lit up the countryside for hundreds of kilometres around the south-west of Western Australia."
Mr Birch has analysed some amateur footage of the event and says any remnants of the meteor would also be of interest.
""If any bits of it have come to ground, I'm sure people at the museum would like to have a look at them," he said.
Witnesses say the the sky lit up about 9:00pm AEDT, and the light was followed by a thundering sound that shook buildings.
Helen Bignell was driving just north of Kojonup when she saw the meteor.
"All of a sudden the sky lit up, it was a bright as daylight it was quite unbelievable," she said.
"I looked up over head and there was something silver, sort of looked like a silver ball with a trailing reddish green sort of tail almost like fireworks.
"Then another one, there were two, quite spectacular objects."
Another witness, Brent, says he did not need his torch as the object passed.
"I could turn the torch off because the whole sky was just bright purple," he said.