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New app update helps people enjoy astronomical spectacles

Media release

The hunt for meteorites just became easier with the recently updated Fireballs in the Sky smartphone app.

The original app was developed by the Desert Fireball Network, a Curtin University project designed to track meteorites as they fall to Earth by capturing meteors and fireballs on camera.

It allowed people around the world to help build on the data collected so far about meteorites by submitting their own fireball observations.

Professor Phil Bland, leader of the Desert Fireball Network and planetary scientist from Curtin’s Department of Applied Geology said the updated version can now be used to go meteor gazing.

“It allows people to find out exactly where they should be looking to see the current meteor showers,” Professor Bland said.

“With the latest update, select ‘Meteor Showers’ or ‘Next Shower Peak’ to have your phone point you in the direction of the current meteor shower’s radiant.  The radiant is the point in the sky where the meteors will appear to be coming from.”

Professor Bland said although there were several apps available on the market that list meteor showers, and information about them, this app is ideal for those who need a little assistance knowing where to look.

“It is free, accessible, and will certainly help more people share the discoveries of nature’s true wonders.”

The Department of Applied Geology’s Desert Fireball Network also works in collaboration with Thoughtworks, and Curtin Geoscience Outreach.

The app is available free for both iOS and android smartphones, by searching for ‘fireballs in the sky’ in app stores.