Expert says fireball lit up Griffith night sky

Griffith residents watched in awe on Wednesday as a strange light lit up the night sky, with many taking to social media in the search for answers.

According to operations scientist John Sarkissian at the CSIRO Parkes Radio Telescope, in the absence of any other information the event was likely a ‘fireball’.

“From the description it looks like what we call a fireball, which is an extremely bright meteor that was breaking up,” Mr Sarkissian said on Thursday.

While a spectacular sight for all who saw it –the fireball itself was likely only the size of a pebble.

“Or a fist sized rock at the very most,” Mr Sarkissian said.

“Normally meteors you see at night are only the size of a sand grain, when this one entered the atmosphere it would have entered so rapidly it heated the air around it.”

“They pose no threat to us at all, occasionally you get something a bit bigger like a pebble and on rarer occasions you get something the size of a rock and it can make it all the way down and that is what we call a meteorite.”

While an unusual aspect of the night sky Mr Sarkissian said Wednesday’s light show was not an uncommon event.

“Because this happened shortly after sunset and people were out driving quite a few people saw it,” he said.

“There are just as many that happen during the day, but obviously with the sky so bright we can’t see them.”