• 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

4,532 responses to “Lights in the sky

  • I saw a dull orange orb moving at very high altitude directly above my position (90o). The object moved at a steady speed, which given the altitude must have been significant, also considering the altitude the object must have been very large, many times the size of a plane and flying much higher than normal jumbo jets. The object was travelling on a North to South direction and was visible for approximately 2 minutes. This was seen from Preston, United Kingdom.

  • It’s a pity that you don’t normally answer international reports.

    I’ve seen a big (twice the size of a full Moon) green sphere without trail or sparkles, silently descending on a diagonal track in a clear night sky in my hometown in Brazil, 40 years ago… It moved really slowly so it was there for about 5 minutes until it disappeared behind the tree-line. Back then I had no idea of neon or led lights, so I used to describe its color as a phosphorous green from the (now old) computer’s monitor screens. The glow was so intense and yet self contained in the sphere that I could see it as a 3D object. I have monocular view, as my left eye is virtually useless. I have never forgotten that sighting.

    • I forgot to add that it didn’t look like a ball lightning, the sky was clear and there was no storms or rain for the next 4 months… dry season starts April and finishes October, this happened in June.

    • Sorry Patricia, Thank you for your report but we just don’t have the resources presently to respond to all comments. But any reader is able to post an explanation or constructive comment on your report.

  • February 26 2018 19:15 CST over Peoria il, clear night sky very bright moon and stars looking south about 60 degrees up from horizon I was watching the red blinking lights of a commercial jet quite high in the sky flying SSE (fascinated that you can see contrails even at night), when I noticed a white light that I first thought was a star. It had just appeared very high up but realized it couldn’the be a star because it was moving slowly. Moving west so it couldn’the be the ISS. It covered about 2 degrees of the sky then it slowly faded to nothing. I wonder if any of the commercial jets saw it in the area. Not a shooting star/meteorite, moving to slowly. Very bright.

  • 2/08/2018 Dim white lights that appeared to be at very high altitude over western NC, no sound, higher than commercial aircraft fly, moving much faster than any jet aircraft I have ever seen and silent. As mentioned there were two. One I noticed at around 90 degrees traveling west to east at approximately 1830hrs. About 6-8 minutes I saw a second at 90 degrees (or possibly the same one idk) identical white light same altitude same speed but traveling from north to south no sound no contrails no flashing or colored lights just a single white light both times. I was looking up at Orion’s Belt when I noticed both of these lights. There were aircraft in the area at the time but these lights appeared to be much higher and they were moving much faster than the other aircraft. Sky was clear and I watched until they faded out of sight within about 30-40 seconds both times. Military aircraft do on occasions fly over this area but are always noticeable by the roar of the engines even a extremely high altitudes and they sound much different than commercial aircraft usually. What I saw tonight was totally silent not a hint of noise. The time and direction that I have noted is approximate. If anyone could shed some light (no pun intended)on my sightings please feel free to do so, thanks!

  • Saw a light high in the sky traveling from the Southwest going East very slow. There was a little cloud cover so it wasn’t super clear. It looked like something small with a large V shaped tail with the small end of the V directly behind it ant opening much larger at the end. It lasted maybe 5 secs then disappeared quickly.It was approx. 6:30 p.m. in Santee Calif. On Feb. 6.

  • I first seen a stationary flashing light just left of the saucepan, I was by myself and had to adjust my eyes to make sure it was just a flash I thought I was seeing, it kept happening so I quickly called for my wife and daughter to come and see, they both found it flashing and my wife started counting how long between flashes , the first was 17 seconds the second was 8 seconds and it was random for another 30 to 40 seconds , there was a larger flash and then it moved east slowly and flashed very brightly twice then just disappeared, we are just south of Toowoomba QLD, I know for a fact this was not a satellite, as I watch them nearly every night , it behaved very differently , anyway it was around 8.45 and was very cool

  • I saw a large round light as big as the sun moving from east to west around 930 am in Mobile Al while pumping gas. It was moving at a steady slow pace faster than the clouds. The sun was further behind- beaming thru the clouds. It was traveling slow and steady but faster than a Goodyear blimp. What in the world was that. So large and bright.

  • Hello my name is Dan, about two and a half years ago when I first heard about Planet X or Nibiru I really became observant as to goings-on in the night skies but I sense given up ideas about paying much attention to Planet X or Nibiru. As I continue to observe the night skies towards the Western Horizon I see lights flashing across the sky they look similar to dim search lights. Then I noticed towards the north northwest red glow that seems to come and goin. At about 0°-45° in w me horizon.Cycles definitely not related to the Sun as it goes down towards the west-southwest. In about a week and a half ago I saw these lights really getting wild and crazy and flashing a lot and be quite a bit brighter than normal and the light beams in the sky seem to have gone away also. But as I continue to watch I noticed there’s a red glow where the beams emanate from towards the north northwest and light beams in the sky seem to be coming back more prevalent as the red glow becomes more obvious. sure seems odd the large red glow tonards the north northwest and definitely these lights appearing similar to that of searchlights the lights are becoming more prevalent again as this red glow gets larger and I expect to see the lights kind of freaked out again as this cycle continues the last I saw the lights act weird was about a week and a half ago about 8:30 in the evening but the red glow you can see all night long and I am in Longview and Southwest Washington in my neighborhood is one of the few areas in my city that has a clear wide-open view of the western Horizon so most people in the city don’t see the things I’ve been observing and most people don’t see them at all anyway as they’re not paying attention to the sky and looking up all night long but I don’t smoke in my house so I go out all night long and observe the skies as I am out there I sure hope somebody else can make a comment to this and help me explain what it is I think it’s some sort of interference from the Sun naburu plant X who knows but I think it’s some sort of solar flares if it is not related to some unusual Planet bodies I also see these beams of light towards the North and they seem to travel most directions I’m not sure if you would see them in the East or Northeast sky in front ofmy house I don’t look out there much but I’m pretty sure that these beams of light are mostly related to the South Southwest and north northwest area of Southwest Washington very interesting to say the least

  • It’s a Friday night 2/3/2018 12:25am, I just arrived home in Hialeah, Fl. I always look at the sky before going in because I’m fascinated by its beauty. However, tonight I noticed a beaming red light it wasn’t blinking nor moving horizontal so I know it was not a plane. At first, it wasn’t moving at all. I found it so strange and it stood out among the sky because it was a such a bright red light. Maybe about 5 seconds after being in the same spot it finally started going downward straight. It didn’t move fast and it didn’t have a trail. It seemed so weird because I’ve never seen anything like it. If anyone can explain it. Please do.

  • Friday night Jan. 26 18 was out looking at ISS at6:02. Was traveling from south west sky to east sky . I saw white light that looked exactly same as ISS traveling from east to west and passed right by the ISS . I watched until it disappeared behind clouds in west sky. Seemed to be traveling at same speed as the ISS . Wondered if anyone else saw the same. Just thought was strange .this was at sikeston mo.was visible for about two minutes. Sky was partly cloudy but ISS and the other object were very visible.

  • Hewett, South Australia
    Jan 19, 2018 at approximately 23:50 h
    Clear sky the whole day and night
    Observed at 30-45 degree
    No moon but possibly Jupiter (or Venus) as the brightest body
    I was watering the grass at night (it had been 44 Celsius that day) and staring above when I had the chance to randomly see the ISS passing by for the 2nd time in my life. I was excited and went into the house to find out the time of it orbiting the planet, tracking it down, and if the angle fo the orbit would allow me to see its next lap over. I put my alarm and was ready with my camera but did not see it again (found out it had passed this time northern, almost over Indonesia). As I kept looking for things to move I saw something I had never even thought before: a bright and circular light (looked like a big star) that flashed exactly every 5 sec and re-appeared in different locations in the sky. Without a defined orbit, like satellites do, but with an undefined path. It flash just once and then disappeared; 5 sec later flashed again in another location, and then disappeared. The flashing or displacement of the light did not elicit any sort of “tail” behind it. A very bizarre path, even going back to where I think I started seeing it. I stared for about 15 min on a row. Then went to get my camera and could not see this phenomena again.

  • Killara/Lindfield
    January 17th. About 9.40pm.
    Looking South to South South East.
    Looking up no more than 5 degrees.
    Seen for a few seconds
    The object was descending as it was moving east
    Sky was clear.
    No other objects seen other than I was a few minutes earlier and later tracking visible satellites (see below).
    Saw small fireball descending rapidly as it moved from the right of my vision to left of my vision as I was facing south. It appeared to be no more than 1000metres away. It appeared to be a meteor (very small) but must have got very close to actually hitting the surface.
    Was exciting to see as it was different and much closer to the me than the satellites I was tracking. And didn’t see any meteors during the geminid showers in December.


    Last night was interesting because it was very clear. I was also able to see some, presumably, tumbling satellites flaring a little.
    8.50pm:One descending from 45 degrees in the east to 10 degrees in the east which would flash every few seconds as it caught reflections. It was between orion and sirius at about 8.50pm.
    9.30pm: at around 9.30 before I saw what was a meteor, i saw in the south at about 50 degrees flashes.
    9.35pm: tracked resur 1 sattelite from south to north as it tracked directly overhead (consistent magnitude)
    9.40: saw the meteor I describe above
    9,45 or so: tracked sattelite Yaogan 6 which appeared to change magnitude (so presuming it was tumbling also)
    (got satellite info from heavens above and cal sky website)

    • We saw what sounds like the same burning object in ryde on Tuesday night at around the same time. It was clear. We were looking southish. The object appeared to travel horizontally north eastish and was burning brightly for a period of st least 5 or so seconds before it burnt out. It was silent and appeared to be much closer than a distant meteorite or other typical type of object entering the atmosphere. It seemed earily close like a firework almost !!

  • In January of 2017 I was about to go inside, as the mozzies where about to attack, when I looked up & saw not one, but 4 half egg shaped orange lights, appear, move across the sky, & disappear one after the other over about 8 seconds. My son was outside as well at the time, and I told him to quickly look up, when he saw what I saw, he quickly moved inside, and said to me, “mum, you seem to attract these ufo’s”. The sky was still a blue/grey colour so it wasen’t yet dark. I have tried to explain to myself what I saw, but with no answer. Deb Sunshine Coast

      • Andrew Jacob….Haha!! No, I don’t think so. For one, we don’t have that tradition in Aus as far as I know, and secondly, they where way to high, way to fast, as fast as maybe a plane up that high and appreared and disappeared uniformly. Didn’t look anything like what I’ve seen a chinese lanterns look like. This was like “D” shaped and very much orange, and I’m not colour blind either.

  • At about 8:15 EST in Orlando, Florida i looked up to the east (but high in the sky) and saw a bright orange/ red train coming from a white dot. By the time i got my camera working the train was gone but the moving dot was still there. After a few seconds it appeared to blow up with several pieces moving in different directions. They soon faded except for two. One white dot was almost stationary and the other kept moving in the original direction, which was north. I have the explosion and 2 dots recorded. Please comment if you saw it, too. Thanks

  • I am from India. At 6:30 pm when i came back from college.(2017). I saw a green light fly in the sky. Its move horizontal but a circle path. I am observed that 15 minutes. Then suddenly its divided into two parts like two green ball. This are move same like the first one. I cant understand what is that. If anyone know about that. Or see the same thing in the sky please reply me.

  • Red light hovering n moving across sky Sth of nepean hospital when from to Dr n back again totally red.. like a massive drone..

  • Okay I know this sounds insane but I was with my best friend and she saw it too. We were so confused.
    We were on the tidal river walkbrige at wilsons prom it was around 10 pm at around North at a 60degree angle just above the tree line. We saw it for a few minutes but had arguments on how long. There were only very little clouds, basically none. Think it was a full moon?

    So we saw a group of stars we think, that looked green and also saw a bit or red and orange at times. They were jiggling around and seemed to be moving left and right and up and down. Looked like one of them went down(sounds crazy I know) then they had kind of disappeared by fading after a few minutes.

    I thought I saw something drop, and it seemed to be pretty small.

    Anyways, thanks, please respond with a logical explanation cause I really need one.

    • Jacqui, you may have been looking at the Pleiades cluster of stars. They were due north at about 10pm that evening from Wilson’s Prom, but at about 30-degrees elevation (but humans are notoriously bad at estimating angles!), the colour-flashing is due to the atmospheric effects that also cause stars to twinkle, and the ‘jiggling’ is, I suspect, due to the same effects in combination with the movements your eyes make (saccades, etc) perhaps accentuated by fatigue. They may have faded behind thin cloud and the one that dropped may have been a sporadic meteor! If the stars weren’t the Pleiades they could have been the Hyades star cluster, which was due north about 11pm, after the Moon rose at about 10:30pm. Did you notice where the constellation Orion, or ‘the pot’, was?

  • 7:30 am on January 3, 2018
    45°-60° facing East / little ways South
    Calgary Alberta
    For hours before I decided to take a closer look I saw what looked like an overly bright new star I hadn’t noticed before. Finally when I took out some binoculars it began to look roughly like a triangle shape with a round obscure barrier around it but the barrier wasn’t quite clear/see through just the shape behind it(or insideit) was brighter. This one was yellow , and only through the binoculars did I notice there was an identical shaped object behind it, a little lower, and to the right -only this one was red, and yet again behind this red one, little lower, and to the right was the same shape again except this third one was blue….

    • Ray, we don’t normally answer international reports but I suspect you saw Jupiter (brightest object), Mars (red) and star Zubenelgenubi in Libra (your blue object). Jupiter and Mars have been particularly close in recent days. And you need to get your binoculars checked out – the triangular shape means something is wrong with the optics!

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