The March Meteor

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Astronomers are yet to pinpoint exactly where the meteorites fell in Western NSW, but they have narrowed down their search for the March event that soared through the skies.

Coonabarabran astronomer Dr Robert McNaught said due to the low population density, he is yet to pin point an eye witness for the area. 

“It seems clear that the meteorites fell east of Mount Hop, but there is such a low population density around there, we could get enough eye witness sightings to narrow down the precise area,” he said. 

“Landowners in the area were alerted to what meteorites look like.” 

The meteor shower lit up the skies on March 15.

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“A fireball ending while still in the sky could  indicate that a meteorite had reached the ground,” Dr McNaught said.

“Rarely a large rock will penetrate much lower (towards the earth’s surface) but being rather brighter they are referred to as fireballs. Such rocks can survive the passage through the atmosphere and fall to the ground as meteorites.”

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Dr McNaught said sightings from Trangie or Gilgandra could be very helpful to the searching astronomers, who could study comet behaviour if the meteorite is found.

“I was particularly interested in getting sightings from Trangie or Gilgandra as the geometry of the sightings from there would help most in narrowing down the trajectory,” he said.

Only a few reports were received over this general area and it seems the cloud was thick over Gilgandra and thinning over Trangie.”

We want to know if you’ve seen the meteor, log your sighting at the Daily Liberal website www.dailyliberal.com.au and we’ll add it to the map. Also find a video of the meteorite spotted near Orange on March 15.

So far the meteorite was spotted by people from Dubbo, Trangie, Gilgandra, Nyngan, Narromine, Tottenahm, Yass and other places in Western NSW. Contact Dr McNaught by emailing robmcnaught@westnet.com.au

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