Observations

Lights in the sky

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 exploding rockets or rockets venting fuel.

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

4,758 responses to “Lights in the sky

  • This occurred in 1956 or 1957 in Southwest Alabama. Two friends and I were walking one night in the very rural area in which we lived. It probably was about 8-9:00 pm. Suddenly to the West Northwest a round light occurred and moved horizontally right to left then just as suddenly disappeared. It appeared to be quite a distance from us at about a 35 – 45 degree angle from the ground.
    The light was just a bright clear light. No houses close, no planes, we had no lights, no moon reflection. What was it? I still wonder some 60 plus years later.l

  • From Wellington, Colorado, from a 90° view straight overhead, to the horizon, directly east, moving at the speed of the ISS, in fact i thought it might have been the ISS, but the coarse was directly east and the ISS is usually moving in a diagonal path from the northern to southern hemisphere. The object was as bright at the ISS at dusk but the light strobbed exactly like an operational lighthouse flying 400 miles up due east. About 2 weeks ago.

  • July 31 Santa Fe, NM
    Twice now a week apart, just above something lights up very very bright white, flaring then fading out completely for a second or two, as it moves, maybe flaring about 5 to 7 times before I can no longer see it, but the last flash was still quite far from the horizon, totally silent, similar course and direction both times.

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