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, 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

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4,492 responses to “Lights in the sky

  • November 29th 2017 @ 6:45pm. Ipswich, Suffolk, UK.
    I was standing by my back door when something caught my eye, I managed to see a large ball of white light falling from the sky at a 45 degree angle before it was obscured by trees. It was falling at a very fast rate. The sky was clear and you could see the stars. Could it have been a meteorite?

  • 9.19 tonight in Canberra (from Woden area) looking to 325 degrees NW, about 15 to 20 degrees above the horizon. I turned to look out the window and caught the end of something which I thought was firework, it was that bright firework green colour.
    Very intense burning, but not big enough to light anything up at this location. No noise associated with it, no sparks or even tail, nothing emanating from it – sure it wasn’t like any firework is ever seen.

  • Christmas time, fishing off the harbour wall at Watchet, Somerset, England, with my daughter and grandson.
    It was about 2am, very cold, and deserted and quiet.
    There was low cloud, no wind. Suddenly we became aware of a very bright light above the cloud, stationary and silent.
    It srayed there for several minutes.
    We also became aware of a man standing more or less under the light, which ‘switched off’ after a few minutes, leaving the area lit by the few lights on the harbour wall.
    My daughter, who was in her 30s, approached the man and asked what he thought the light could possibly have been.
    He totally ignored her, didn’t move.
    She came back, we packed up our rods and left.
    My grandson, who was 9 or 10 at the time, has never forgotten.
    None of us ever will.

  • November 30 – 11:01 pm – Geelong, VIC, Australia.
    North, 45 degrees.
    Object/s visible for about 5 minutes.
    Object/s moved in a large circle for a few seconds before settling into a wide circle, pausing, all coming in to form a very bright sphere, before fanning out back into the wide circle and staying that way until they faded entirely.
    Cloudy coverage, moon visible but away from the phenomena to North West.
    Orb lights in a circular formation. Looked about 500-700 metres across. Stars visible through the middle of the circle when low cloud coverage permitted, so not a solid object – lights in a ring. Potentially searchlights, but no trail onto the clouds. It looked like it was lit from behind them. A neighbour suggested they were storm chaser lights?? But it’s been calm weather all day.

  • My partner and I where caravaning in a farm field near Rye in Kent. We had to leave early this morning at around 5am. It was icy cold but still and a clear sky and still dark so we could see the stars very clearly. As we were looking up now sat in our camper van about to drive off we noticed two horizontal strips of very bright lights running parallel to each other and about 6 feet apart and around 40 feet up and about 100 feet long like tram lines

  • Just before 1030pm AEDST in Sydney Australia a friend and I saw a large fireball shooting through the Eastern sky at about 45 degrees above the horizon for about 2 seconds. We think after this we couldn’t see it due to buildings obstructing our view. What was this?

    • Jennie, It could well have been a fireball, or maybe just a bright meteor. If it was heading south it may have been an early meteor from the Geminid meteor shower.

  • I’m in Rockport, Texas. I was walking my dogs when I got home on Tuesday 11-21-17, it was about 1am. I have always been pretty god at finding satellites when looking up at the sky. This was a perfectly clear night, many starts were visible. I noticed something moving through the sky, it was way too high to be a bird or plane. Not to mention I don’t have a major airport near me. A second object showed up and they traveled through the sky, parallel. Then they would start to dip and dart and move around one another, making zig zags, then joining back together, still making quick moves either right in front or slightly behind the other. It was like they were playing together. I’ve never seen satellites move like that, so I was curious if anyone else had ever seen the same thing.

    • I live in Western New York (NY/PA Border and about 90 minutes south of Buffalo). Last night, November 29, 2017, the sky was so bright with stars, and I had witnessed the same thing. There were several bright triangle shaped lights, a few of them were red. I noticed, at one time, a red and white one flew side by side with the same colored lights blinking. A few minutes later, a red one flew away alone, slowly. It had red blinking lights. These objects were not high in the sky. They were about airplane height. The difference between them and airplanes is that they stayed in one place for about an hour or more. Many of my friends witnessed it as well. A couple of us had tried taking pictures or recording it with our phones, and our phones would die or reset. It was definitely weird.

    • Ekela,
      I have seen the same sort of thing in California. We were up in a mountain range far from any city lights or airports and there were these lights that were like as you are describing. There were a couple different sets of them. It was almost like they would be coming down to the surface picking something up then moving back up into the sky. Like they would hover down low for a moment before moving back up. They did this in a zig zag motion too. But, it wasn’t the same exact motion everytime. It lasted about 45 min then they moved back up to the sky and then there was one light that travelled far up into the sky until we couldn’t see it anymore and then the lights had stopped. This has been seen a few times at the same time of the night.

  • I have been watching white bright lights, brighter than stars. I live In a rural area of South Carolina, moncks corner. I watch them almost every night until they move from my sky view. Sometimes they move in zig zags, or figure 8s. Sometimes it looks like smaller tiny lights are being dropped behind them and fade away. And sometimes it seems as if they are creating fog or whispy clouds around them. Usually 1-3 in the sky at a time and not in the same place but do cross paths rarely. Can’t seem to find anything like this. Do live near airports and military and have seen a lot of aircraft my whole life but nothing like this. Anyone see anything similar?

    • I live in North GA, I have seen something almost identical to what your seeing in GA, as well as in OK. I have no clue what it is…it is wondrous…..what could it be!!!??? I have seen it for months now?

  • Oct, 24, 25, 26, 2017
    Strasburg Pa
    Looking up into the early morning dark sky, North West
    45 degree angle I saw a stationary shape in the sky with a thin rim of light around it. The shape was like a tear drop.
    I took pictures of it and zoomed the picture in.
    What I saw zoomed in looked like a monster face Santa head.
    That shape was seen every night from hotel window for the nights or early morning. What could it be?

    • I’m also from PA and I just saw something that kind of sounds familiar to what your saying. It’s sat November 2nd. I witnessed this around 1 am and I’ve been watching them since. I just now went back into my house and looked up what they could be and it brought me here. Send me the picture if you can. I tried taking pictures but I couldn’t really see much.

  • – Where: Hobart, Tasmania
    – The time: 4.42am
    – The direction: East
    – looking at horizon, 0° elevation
    – How long you saw the object: 1 min
    – The direction the object was moving: south
    – It was clear or cloudy
    – I could see the Moon, it had a red glow
    I saw a bright light move across the horizon in a southerly direction. It appeared to hover for 10 seconds and then moved back towards the direction it had come from. Possibly an airforce plane? Not a passenger plane because no flights leave or arrive this early.

  • Last night in mackay, QLD there was a flashing bright red light absolutely stationary in the sky about 20° above the horizon for about half an hour to an hour around 530-630pm. No mountains or towers near, very light cloud cover after it disappeard. North west about 15-20km of mackay.

    • Strangely, I saw something very similar last night – bright red flashing object with red and white lasers hitting the ground. It came across the sky from a northerly direction and headed towards Brisbane City where it continued to hover. It was 10.15pm. The object made no sound and looked semi circle in shape. Very weird indeed!!

  • October 2017
    Wichita Kansas
    Over the past several months I have witnessed a grouping of lights, that could be compared to a cluster of extremely fast moving, dimly lighted stars. It moves silently and with incredible speed. The first time I witnessed the object it came from the west then southwest then quickly made 90 degree angle north and then northwest then back straight south and finally due east. It was a Clear night sky approximately 11:00 pm. The second time it appeared Friday night October 27th at approximately 12:30 am. It came from the northeast traveling across the sky to the southwest, in a straight line, crossing the sky within 2-2.5 seconds. It is silent. There are no discernible lights or shapes associated nor can I apply a definitive shape to the object. It does not match any drone footage I have seen. We are close to a major airport and an Air Force base yet, this object looks nothing like any aviation I’ve ever seen.

    • I just saw the same thing aprox. 315 am cst. Oconomowoc wi. Woke up n went to have a smoke. I always look up in the night sky and witnessed what looked like 3 dimly lit stars evenly in a line they were out of my view within a couple seconds. They were silent and moving to the southeast.

  • October 27 at approximately 8:30 PM CST, I was walking my dog and watching a point of light in the sky (very clear and many stars were in view). It was as bright as any of the major stars that night and was moving slowly in the SW about 30 degrees above the horizon. I thought at first that it was an aircraft because it seemed that the light would blink and sometimes pulse red. As I watched, it made surprising swift diving moves and left and right adjustments. These were repeated and frequently it did perfect circular loops. As I went into the house, I simply wondered who would be doing this at night. Then approximately and hour later, I looked out and saw it still there (fainter and further West) doing the same things. I asked my wife to come outside with me and observe this. She confirmed that it was “bobbing around” in her estimation. I went back into the house and got my palm top computer with the “Sky View” app and pointed it at the point of light. The software identified it as a spend rocket booster (something like SRB-8 or something–not sure of exact nomenclature). Did I observe normal activity? Are American or Russian scientists testing manueverabily of objects in space in front of our very eyes. After two hrs it was no longer visible. Note: I live in NE South Dakota (in a rural area)

  • Just a non-observation observation: Have noticed this page doesn’t seem to be updated very often these days (either that or not many reports being made since the website change). I also used to receive updates of new reports to my email address but that ceased when the website changed to MAAS museum instead of Sydney Observatory. Still check in from time to time, just doesn’t seem to be as much reporting activity here presently for whatever reasons.

  • Supernova? 10/19/2017 12:30pm centralzone
    location; Flomaton, Al
    Latitude:31.030211;Longitude:-87.255216
    object viewed@60DegreesNNW, there was a burst of light bright as the moon then dimmed to planet/star size, no other object other than the sun, no clouds
    moving N@dec2deg/2min
    got camera @1:00pm continue to observe the object till 2:00pm, have pictures, at around 3:00pm went back outside and was unable to locate object due to object had went below tree line

    • Sledbetter, Whatever it was it was definitely not a supernova if it was moving at a degree per minute across the sky.

      • yea bummer i figure it was a weather balloon or sat or stupid UFO, cant see nothing in the sky nowadays without some UFO…but it was awesome what ever it was

  • Time 8:09PM tonight from Regina Saskatchewan

    3 stars in a triangle formation high in the North East sky got really really really bright and went really really dim. Didn’t see when they got bright but when they were bright in the first place

    Freaky

    Maybe 3 very extreme high jets in formation banking in a turn reflecting the sun at the same time in the banking turn. Don’t know.

  • On Oct 15th, 2017 about 8 pm or so, I saw in the eastern sky 3 stars in a triangle. I think they were brighter than others that’s why I noticed them. Then like 5 secs apart, they each disappeared. From Portland OR.

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