Update Thursday February 21: Mininera, Rossbridge and Willaura residents are being urged to look around their properties for fragments of a meteor that was seen across Victoria earlier this month.
David Finlay of the group Australian Meteor Reports said the group had collaborated with the Brazillian Meteor Observation Network, or BRAMON, to determine a more precise location of where parts of the meteor have landed.
"There could be as much as twenty kilograms of meteorite on the ground," Mr Finlay said.
"Eyewitnesses saw it break up into at least two large pieces when it entered the atmosphere, and now there could be many dozens of fragments on the ground from as large as an orange to golf-ball sized and smaller. The smaller pieces can be easier to find, and all of the will look like rounded black rocks that are grey on the inside."
Mr Finlay urged anyone going hunting for pieces of meteor to always ask permission from the owners before entering someone's private property.
He said BRAMON has calculated the trajectory of the meteorite from dashcam footage sourced from Melbourne.
"If we can get more dashcam footage from further west, we could just about say which paddocks fragments will have landed," Mr Finlay said.
Mr Finlay also said BRAMON had estimated the orbit of the meteor before it crash-landed, and said it went past Mars.
"There is a rare chance this could be a piece of Mars that was blown off in an asteroid impact," he said. "If that's the case, pieces of it will be ridiculously valuable."
Saturday, February 9: The hunt is on for a meteor - and video footage showing its path - that was seen across Victoria on Friday and which could have landed east of the Grampians.
Stawell resident Andrea Cooper told the Mail-Times she and others in the Ledcourt, Halls Gap and Grampians areas heard a rumble and sonic boom at about 3.50pm. Apparently it was the entry area of the meteor that went over Melbourne also today.
The boom shook cars and buildings and was also felt up on the mountains.
Resident Jade Taylor said “seen one low in south of Warracknabeal heading in an easterly direction. Very pretty,”.
While the administrator of the facebook group Australian Meteor Reports, David Finlay, sought information from Grampians residents on what they saw and whether they heard a booming noise.
This morning, Mr Finlay said they were still seeking footage, and that based on the information they had received until Saturday morning, they believed the meteor made it to ground somewhere east of the Grampians.
"We’ve got a couple of people who filmed it from Melbourne, but what we want is footage from people from across Victoria,” he said.
Mr Finlay, who lives in Kiama, New South Wales, said the meteor would have been visible from when it reached 90km above the earth’s surface.
“The entire state of Victoria would have been able to see this object, so that’s why rely so heavily on eyewitness reports from different areas.”
“We need to triangulate it with other footage so we can actually work out where this thing has come down.”
“Objects from outer space will start vaporising until they drop to about 30km in altitude. You could pick up a meteorite on the ground immediately after it landed next to you and not get burnt.
“In the Grampians, there is a lot of volcanic rock, but meteorites will be rounded off and look like they’ve been scorched on the outside by a blowtorch.”
Mr Finlay said the meteor could be worth money to its finder.
“In Victoria, the law allows you to keep them and sell them with Australia. They’re usually around one-to-five dollars per gram. If it has gone through a house, that increases value of meteorite ten times. Even the hole in your roof is worth money: people could cut it out and sell it to researchers.”
Mr Finlay said researchers at Monash University in Melbourne and Curtin University in Western Australia have strong meteor research programs.