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, 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

4,555 responses to “Lights in the sky

  • Was driving home ( live in Wodonga Victoria ) 3rd of October 2015 saw a strange object (SE in directionj in the sky took photos and enlarged them on my computer the object changed in shape three times was only there for one night never returned . any ideas on what this could be ? Not sure how to post the photos on here but very interesting

  • At 142 Am in Poplar Bluff Mo 63901 from south moving north at a altitude well achieved by possibly International Space Station or possibly a bit lower traveling at a phenomenal amount of speed heading due north. The light emitting from fast-moving object is not its own life but I’m sure the light bouncing off of object that is sunlight and that is not any normal satellite speed possibly a high-altitude jet but I don’t think the white admitting was self a mini light from object. I clearly have no clue what I saw but that was so fast that’s a astronomer or a astronaut or someone that is a pilot would have been standing beside me at the same moment they would agree that them speeds this object was achieving was beyond phenomenal. I don’t think an object in Earth atmosphere to possibly travel that fast but then again we do have planes that hit Mach 3 and above. I’m still shocked from this event because that was just crazy fast and really would like to know what it was if anyone in my area has a fisheye lens camera or confined One recording the sky please point me in the right direction to study any film maybe I’m just not educated enough but I’m feel the need that this needs to be documented and reported because that was just way too fast

  • Did anyone else witness red lights in the sky?
    I’m seeing them right now, I’m in Sydney. There are 3 lots of them two close by and the other a bit further away. The brightest light has 3 to 4 smaller ones vertically below it, the one to the left of that has 3 below it and I can’t really see the other one. It keeps flickering in the distance. I tried to take a video of it but it doesn’t really show up on my phone. Only the brightest one on top shows up on the video. I wish I had a hand held camera to record it.

  • The sighting I had was on Harsens Island Mi. I was about 17 years old at the time. I was sitting down for dinner with my parents at our cottage. Our cottage is a small island, about 1 acre, located in the middle of a bay called Little Muskamoot bay. The kitchen table we were sitting at has a window that faces to the south and my chair I sat at looks directly out that window. Being that we were at our cottage we were having dinner quite late as it was past sunset but not quite completely dark yet. As I was eating I looked out the window and noticed a light coming from the southern horizen. I was curious because I couldn’t determine what it was, so I continued to watch it. The light was moving from the southern horizen towards our cottage and the longer I watched it the larger it became as it was moving closer in our direction. At this point I got up from the table and walked out our sliding glass door also facing that same direction. As I got outside and as the light was coming closer I realized that it wasn’t just one but multiple lights. I thought then it may have been a meteorite or meteor that I was seeing but quickly dismissed that thought as this was moving too slowly to be that. As the lights came very close to our cottage I could clearly see that there was a number of these (between 5 or 6 of them) and they were in a formation like you would see geese fly in, it was a very defined distinct V formation. The lights at this point resembled balls of fire as they were flying directly over my head at this point. I became very excited by now and was yelling for my mom and dad to come out and see what I was witnessing. They both answered but unfortunatly didn’t understand if they didn’t come quickly they would miss them. I stood there and watched them fly right over our cottage. As they flew over my head I had to go to the side of the house as the roof of the cottage was starting to obstruct my view. The lights or balls of fire flew in perfect formation and off into the northern horizen, which is Canada from my perspective. From the first moment I saw the one light until they disappeared to the north would have been counted in minutes. I would say 1 to 2 minutes. It wasn’t just a flash, it was more of a experience. My parents never even came out to see them, which was one thing I have often wished they did. I really would have liked for someone other than myself to have seen what I saw. The speed of these lights, turned balls of fire was fairly fast but no where near meteorite fast, and they were quite low in the sky. From my perspective they resembled the speed of a slow flying jet or something. It’s hard to say just how low they were but I would say they seemed to be the height of what you might see a light aircraft fly. I often think about this experience and have wondered exactly what I saw that night. Whatever it was it was NOT the normal things you could think of. It was definetly not a meteorite because nothing ever broke off of these objects as they went by,…and I don’t think it was 5 or 6 planes all on fire and in formation. Any information that anyone could give me would be great. I want to say this would have been 1994. It’s possible it may have been the year earlier or even a year after, but I believe it was 1994. This was during the summer since that’s the only time we went to our cottage.

  • Location: 3 miles SE (132 degrees) from KFFC airport (N33 21 W084 34)
    Observed Bright Flash
    Date: May 6, 2018
    Time: approximately 0530 eastern time or 0930 Zulu
    85 degrees NNW
    Very clear
    Unrelated, I observed two instances of debris burning up on entry with NW trajectories prior to the flash and two more after the flash all within a 12 minute time period as evidenced by the hot tub timer.

  • Killara
    9.18pm
    Looking south to south south east
    Looking up 80 degrees
    Saw it for a second at most.
    was scanning between jupiter bright and high in the east to the southern cross and the pointer stars.
    The weather was clear.
    Saw a thin streak of light which had a blue tinge to it. Suspect it was something burning up on entry. It appeared to come from south south east at about 85 degrees towards south at about 70 degrees.

    • I’m in Venice Fl. I also saw the extremely bright light from my bedroom. It lit up the entire room, at 6:11 am. On May 5, 2018. I even heard a pop after the split second of light.

      • Becca Argenas, Both your light and Michael’s sound like meters or fireballs. If so they cannot be the same one – your locations are to far apart (Sydney, Australia and Florida).

  • Location- Ryde -33.816949,151.131973 \Time- 12:30-2am ish (15/04/18) 10:30-11:30pm (16/04/18) \Direction- SW 240° ish \Hight- 15° or so \Movement- none \Conditions- clear \ could not see moon. Saw a flashing light and was not sure what it was so put my zoom lens onto my phone and saw it was rainbow (rbg cycle). The next night I stood on my drive way and took a 5min video. If unsure of what I mean have a look. https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10155310174072539&id=531927538

    • Corey, It’s not possible to identify the light from your video. But I can offer some suggestions. Its height above the horizon and seeing it at different times each night are consistent with it being an aircraft approaching Sydney airport. The flashing and colour separation (rainbow effect) are more consistent with a star close to the horizon. On the 16th Sirius, brightest star in the night sky, was in that area of the sky. But there was no bright star on the 15th. Can I advise you put the camera on a tripod, zoom out (slowly) to capture the horizon and any recognisable objects on the horizon to provide context, don’t use excessive zoom or magnification (it accentuates the distortions, like the rainbow effect and the flashing, caused by the atmosphere) and preferably don’t use a phone camera (they are very difficult to focus on these type of lights). Have you seen similar lights since these sightings?

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