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

4,727 responses to “Lights in the sky

  • Observed two white pale lights circular-shaped moving across the sky at 09:55 pm today dated 17/03/20 at Melbourne Sunshine West Victoria 3020 latitude -37.790405 and the longitude is: 144.817474. They seemed like torch lights pointed towards the sky but on observing closely and for some time we were certain they were not lights from the earth as they seemed to be moving behind the grey clouds and in a pattern. We watched these lights move for about 12-13 minutes and then they stopped as the sky got clearer.

  • Tuesday morning, 3:10am, from Mitcham in Victoria looking north at approximately 70 degrees I witnessed a light that appeared to be zig zagging with the naked eye. I have recorded it using full zoom on my iPad and the light flits quite dramatically. The sky was clear with all stars visible. This light stayed in the same area for some time, I watched it for around 5 minutes before succumbing to the chill. I could hear no noise with it. I have posted the video on my Facebook page.

  • I’m in Rose Bay in NSW, Australia and just witnessed a light green light with a tail fall from the sky at 10:45pm. I was facing north east when I saw this. It was about 45 degrees in the sky.
    It fell to the ground with seconds, was very clear and a singular object.

  • Dee Why, NSW in Sydney. Around 4.40am to 4.45am Friday 31 January 2020.
    Some cloud, it was a satellite travelling from the South West to North East around 45 degrees I was looking towards Dee Why Lagoon & Long Reef headland/beach. Watched 2-3 minutes until disappeared in the fuzz! To my right facing Dee Why Beach was the Scorpion constellation, which is East it was around 45 degrees, above roofline. What satellite would it be please as I do not think it was the space station?
    Thank you

  • Saw a line of lights in the sky moving approx. NNE to SSW. Observed from Beverly Hills, Sydney, NSW ar 4.05am. Each light was coming into view adjacent to Alpha Centauri, about 2 degrees to the east of that star. Each light was seperated at an angular dimention of that as the two pointers of the Southern Cross. There were approx 12 lights visible from Alpha Centauri to the horizon when first observed. As I watched, another 20-25 lights appeared, at similar intervals of approx 7 seconds, but there were some lights that came into view at slightly longer intervals, all travelling in a staright line, one behind the other. Looked like a string of satellites, all the same yellow colour, shining steadily. More likely they were reflecting sunlight, rather giving off their own lights by the way they appeared in the sky and by the position that they appeared in the sky.

  • – Where you were – reports without a location will not be posted: I was standing in my parking lot at my apartment complex on James Island, Charleston, SC, 29412
    – The time: approx 930p, Dec 31, 2019
    – The direction you were looking (north, east, south, west or in-between) south towards Kiawah Island
    – How high up you were looking (horizon is 0° elevation, half way up is 45° and directly overhead is 90°) it wasn’t directly overhead I saw it in the distance very high in the sky.. from where I was standing maybe 75 degrees?
    – How long you saw the object: I’d say approx 10 seconds then it disappeared
    – The direction the object was moving: north
    – Whether it was clear or cloudy: clear night
    – Whether you could see the Moon or Venus or any other astronomical object: the upside down crescent moon and stars
    – Describe what you saw: a solid bright red light, not flashing, moving at a decent speed, no white lights with it so it couldn’t have been an airplane and it was only visible for a matter of seconds before it disappeared ; the red light was not Mars, was not a fizzling firework, and did not have a tail

  • Location: Hornsby, New South Wales
    Time: Around midnight on 13 December 2019
    Duration: 5 – 10 seconds
    Weather Conditions: Clear
    Description: A shower of bright light similar to short bursts of lightning right down to ground level. Loud in volume like firecrackers across our 180 degree field-of-view of the bushland leading down to Waitara Creek. Lost electrical power but restored very shortly afterwards. Spoke to both AusGrid and BOM; but they didn’t have anything significant reported in our area. A mystery at this stage!

  • December 11 2019 around 2040 (military time) Olive Branch MS, I was looking up near the full moon when I saw what looked liked the planes that leave white tails, when I looked through my celestial binoculars, I was able to track one of them (East Sky not far from Orion) as it descended “blinking” blue and red…longer than what a fireball may last but I can’t explain how it just fogged out and disappeared. Not sure where the one in the opposite direction went but the one o tracked just dialed out of my scope as it went under Orion!

  • Hi

    On the night of either the 3rd December or 4th of December, we noticed very high in the sky lights (approx. 40) moving at a fast pace.
    This was around 10ish in the evening. We were in Banaby NSW, which is in the Upper Lachlan Shire, west of Goulburn.

    We didn’t hear anything about this on the radio nor can I find anything on the internet, so I hope you might be able to shed
    a light (no pun intended) on it.

    Regards
    Ans Lukkien

  • Hi all. I don’t know if anyone will respond since the last message was in 2017, but I have seen some strange lights in the sky. Me and my dad were at Cottesloe beach on the 5th of December 2019, when we saw a lady looking at the sky, she told us that she had just seen about 50-60 lights moving through the sky. She then pointed one out to us, it was white but not particularly bright and it wasn’t flashing and it didn’t have a trail, it was moving at a medium pace in a straight line through the sky from south west to north east, it looked just like the other stars and appeared out of nowhere a quarter of the way trough the sky and a minute later another followed that was the exact same and another after that, they just kept coming. The night was very warm with no wind or clouds. I have been so puzzled by this and I hope someone has an answer to this strange sighting or if you have seen it too pls leave a comment.😀

  • I live in Cumbria uk post code ca13 0lj . This morning 01/12/19 Sunday . I saw at least 8 lights in the sky they were evenly spaced and in a straight line moving south east 150’ degrees . I witnessed them for several minutes. I took a video on my phone but could not see them when I played it back. Any idea what they were.

  • Hi my names darryl and i witnessed something phenomenal approximately 4:40(ish) am, in the month of may 2018. The occurance happened as i notice in the south east of the sky, i am from Jacksonville, fl, where i noticed about 5 or 6 bright lights as appearing to look like stars in a single filed line move across the sky. But the thing is from where they emerged they seemed to go as they moved along after one another making it seem as they where coming out of some unseen portal and then emerging into one as they came out the one in back. (Please tell me this makes sense.) This maybe happened for like 15 secs at most before fading out.

    • Darryl, If you meant 2019, not 2018, this sounds like a few of the first batch of 60 Starlink satellites (of many thousands) that SpaceX is launching.

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