Search for remnants from a fireball over the Illawarra and Sydney

© Kevin Walsh/Flickr
Wollongong astronomer David Finlay says meteorites like this could have fallen in areas in north western Sydney following sightings of a fireball over the Illawarra and Sydney on Sunday evening.

Reports of a bright, fragmenting fireball visible from the Illawarra and Sydney on Sunday evening has Wollongong astronomy enthusiast David Finlay on the hunt to find out what happened after it disappeared, with the chance people could have a meteorite on their property.

If Sunday evening's striking pink sunset across the Illawarra wasn't enough, about an hour later there was another exciting event in the sky.

Wollongong astronomy enthusiast David Finlay says he's getting reports from people in Wollongong and Sydney who saw a bright meteor with a glowing orange head blazing through the sky, leaving a green tail behind.

"I've been told just before it got to the horizon, it exploded and fragmented," Mr Finlay says.

"That description of it exploding and breaking up is a key indicator that the object that created this meteor may have been big enough to leave meteorites on the ground.

"We can narrow down the search area and maybe notify people that live in the area there may be meteorites on the ground from this event."

David runs the Facebook page Australian Meteor Reports, where people can share their sightings.

Sunday evening's event prompted several people to jump on the page and report what they saw.

"I witnessed an enormous meteorite descending from the sky and breaking up before crashing to the Earth around what I think was Hornsby Heights/Dural area. Please, tell me that someone else saw this?" Amber Stofka wrote.

"I felt two small tremors. I posted a status to see if anyone in the Blacktown area felt it, but when I came back on I was amazed at the post about the green fireball looking thing that crashed to the Earth after exploding. Would really love to find out if my account of the tremor had something to do with the green fireball," Tracey Wilson wrote.

David Finlay now wants more reports and dash cam footage from people who also saw it.

To accurately plot the meteor's path, he needs as many reports as possible.

"I ask where were you, where were you looking and where did it disappear, and I'll put all those observations on Google maps and draw lines along the ground and in the areas where the lines meet up, that's where I notify people.

"We have observations from people in different areas and I'll get them to give me a report.

"The last few events I've been involved in we didn't find anything but the search areas were much better."

He says if the fireball did become a meteorite - space debris that survives its impact with Earth - there may be remnants around the Richmond or Mount Tomah areas in north west Sydney.

Weather conditions on Sunday evening were mostly cloudy, meaning people weren't able to see it easily.

"If it stopped vapoursing, it's either completely burnt up or cooled up enough so that it makes it to the ground, and I'm betting that it's cooled down enough to leave meteorites on the ground," Mr Finlay says.