The fireball was a meteor about 1.6 feet (50 centimeters) across entering Earth's atmosphere at about 7:40 p.m. local time (7:40 a.m. EDT and 1140 GMT), a spokesperson from nearby Perth Observatory wrote in an email to Space.com.
#Perth #WA We've got reports of a large #meteor flying over Perth. If you have any photos or videos please do send them to us. You can also download the @FireballsSky app and report it to @CurtinUni's #FireballsInTheSky the team. #perthnewshttps://t.co/Drju2TC6J1— Perth Observatory (@perthobs) August 28, 2018
The spokesperson wrote that the observatory received "dozens of calls from frantic people" who saw the meteor's entry.
Because so many people captured videos of the fireball, scientists may be able to use the film to piece together its trajectory through the sky.
Scientists from Curtin University's Fireballs in the Sky team are following up on the fireball observations that local residents have made, in the hope of tracking down remnants of the meteor. According to the Perth Observatory, the scientists are focusing their search on the town of York, 60 miles (100 kilometers) east of Perth, the capital of the state of Western Australia.
Video compilation of last night's #fireball near #Perth from @BBCWorld. Any other footage pls get in touch, it is helping! Dashcams out on the Great Eastern Hwy, security footage from York, it'll assit in narrow down on the searching! @CurtinMedia https://t.co/vu63evYT6b— Fireballs in the Sky (@FireballsSky) August 29, 2018
Meteorites can be tricky to differentiate from terrestrial rocks, but they tend to have a black coating and to feel a little heavier than normal rocks.
Studying meteorites can help scientists better understand the asteroids those rocks fall from, which in turn can help them evaluate the risks posed by larger meteors ― the kind that don't just light up the sky.