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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4,477 responses to “Lights in the sky

  • 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?

  • 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?

  • – 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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