Cameras catch WA fireballs

Stellar images of incoming meteorites burning up over WA may help unravel some of the greatest mysteries of our universe.

The stunning pictures were taken in the deserts of WA and South Australia by a network of cameras which make up Curtin University’s Desert Fireball Network (DFN), led by Professor Phil Bland.

The latest pictures released by the network are from cameras located in WA and are part of the most comprehensive catalogue of meteorite activity in the Southern Hemisphere.

Gingin camera captures a meteorite as it blazes over WA. Picture:Desert Fireball Network.

Prof Bland said two of the photos were from the fireball camera at Perenjori Primary School in the northern Wheatbelt.

“Both (are) beautiful bright fireballs, which translates to quite large objects," he said.

"It’s quite possible that one of them left a meteorite on the ground. We’re currently pulling together data from other cameras to see if that’s happened.”

Another 2013 photograph is from Gingin and shows a bright fireball on the same night an asteroid passed close to earth and just 12 hours before a meteor over Russia turned night into day.

Prof Bland said the task now for scientists was to track possible landing sites, but more importantly to discover where the meteorites came from.

He said the data could lead to clearer understanding of the origins of the universe and provide a key to unlocking other cosmic mysteries, such as how earth was formed.

This picture was taken by a camera at Perenjori Primary School in the northern Wheatbelt. Picture: Desert Fireball Network

DFN is part of the Fireballs in the Sky (FITS) citizen science initiative launched in 2012, which provides a way for the public to work with research scientists studying meteorites. The network provides the most comprehensive catelogue of meteorite activitity in the Southern Hemisphere.