Lights in the sky

February 22, 2007

Sydney Observatory often receives reports from the public about mysterious and unexplained sightings in the sky. Many of these are fireballs, which are small rocks from space hitting the Earth’s atmosphere at high speed and burning up brightly as they reach the denser parts of the atmosphere about 30 or 40 km above the ground. Others turn out to be aeroplane vapour trails, ‘dump and burn’ manoeuvres by Air Force aircraft, satellites, weather balloons or even, as on 19 February 2007, exploding rockets.

We invite you to report your observations here at the bottom of this page. Other people may wish to comment on your observations if they have seen the same object or seen something similar at another time.

When leaving your observations please give as much detail as you can including

– Where you were – reports without a location will not be posted
– The time
– The direction you were looking (north, east, south, west or in-between)
– How high up you were looking (horizon is 0° elevation, half way up is 45° and directly overhead is 90°)
– How long you saw the object
– The direction the object was moving
– Whether it was clear or cloudy
– Whether you could see the Moon or Venus or any other astronomical object
– Describe what you saw

We welcome reports from around the world, however we are unable to respond to international reports.

Thank you


4,295 responses to “Lights in the sky

  • At 2.50pm today 24 April 2017. A planet was quite visible, nearly due west of Beachmere Qld. No binoculars needed. Don’t know what planet it was but first time I have seen one so clearly, and such a bright day?

    • John, that must be Venus. It is at its brightest at present so is easily visible to the naked eye in the daytime sky. But it is hard to locate initially. Well done!

  • Between 5am and 6am on the 23rd April 2017, I saw the largest star like shape in the sky. I was facing north, looking at a 45% angle, and I could see the crescent shaped moon above the large shining light. I looked like the star had five lines extending from the centre. I have never seen anything like it before and considered that it might be the lights from an airship balloon. I observed it for almost an hour and it never moved so there goes my theory about an airship. I was so fascinated by it that I woke my family up to see it too. It was still noticeable at daybreak after 6am, but not nearly as brightly illuminated. What is it? Could it be the large meteor that the new have been reporting was passing close to the earth?
    I am in Greystanes NSW Australia.

    • Debra, No, it was not the asteroid that was recently reported as having passed Earth – that is long gone. It was the planet Venus! At present it is in the north-eastern sky before dawn and is at its brightest also at present. The five lines you saw are just effects of your eyesight, Im afraid. And yes, it was still visible at dawn and even into full daylight (at present) if you know exactly where to look for it.

  • Farnborough, Hampshire, UK
    The time – between 11pm and midnight of 21st April 2017
    Looking directly overhead (90°)
    I was outside for about 10-15mins
    The lights were moving around the house in a circular path, sometimes stopping before moving on again
    The lights went around in a large circle. I was standing at the side of the house – when I looked towards the east I saw them travel past or stop for a time. Then looking towards the front of the house to the west, they continued their path with a constant speed.
    As it was cloudy I could not see any astral constellations
    They seemed to be round dots of lights. At first I thought it might be people shining torch lights off the low cloud, however, as the lights’ path took them from the back to the front of the house it appeared to be unlikely. The lights were a constant round size in all observed locations.

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