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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4,469 responses to “Lights in the sky

  • Today at 1:40am, I went outside to smoking my cigarette and saw moving so fast by glow blue turn to green light and it gone. This was my second time to saw that. First time it was last Dec. I am worry if the thing might hit on the ground, houses and anyelse… I have no idea why it falling down to the earth from clear black sky???

  • I live in Grafton, Wisconsin near Milwaukee. I was sitting in my room binge watching Netflix at 1:45am. It’s a relatively quiet town, and all of my blinds were closed. I saw one large flash and thought maybe it was lighting. However, it was immediately followed by several smaller flashes. All were brilliantly white. They then stopped and I waited for the thunder to follow, but there was nothing. Then, about a minute and a half later a very quiet 5 second rumble. No more flashes. No Clouds. Clear night. Very Concerning. Does anyone know what this is/could be, just to help put my wandering mind to rest?

  • I have been seeing very strange lights alot here lately, I am in stilwell, Kansas just south west of the Kansas city area,I seen only at night these small lights/ (orbs) would be the correct term for them , they move in very weird manner in which no man made flying object is able to…..i was sitting in a field late one night watching the stars with my girlfriend, we noticed a glowing constant orange light, did not blink, this light literally appeared out of nowhere, it then hovered to the west, and all of a sudden stops hovering in air, moving, quickly at same altitude to its left then right, it’s crazy because it’s like this light knew we were looking at it, it would hide behind trees and tree branches exposing itself for a second then going back behind trees then reappears, to disappeared… only to reappear with 2 other lights next to it, that broke away hovering around in weird unusual ways….I have been seeing alot of weird things out here, unfamiliar objects/lights in the sky…..It’s scary because they followed us then all of a sudden they disappear

  • About 45 years ago I was sat with a friend. On top of a roof of a JCB of all places. Lol. I saw 3 lights in formation moving slowly as cross the sky no sound. Nothing. then vanished. In the uk. they where crafts of sorts.

  • Indianapolis,IN 8:20pm
    Facing south… Orion on the left of sight… Three faint moving lights triangular in formation.!moving slow in my opinion. Extremely slow.. Faint yellowish green. Slight flicker on the middle and right light. Stayed west of Orion…moving northward.. Above..

    • Caught sight of lights looking looking south approximately 45-50degrees up.. Sighting ended basically directly over head. 3-5 minutes
      Really clear sky

  • I was in my backyard when I saw a bright satellite flying over which I thought maybe was the space station. A few seconds later I saw 2 others flying parallel to each other then they both stopped. They were there for about 10 seconds when what looked like a bright blue laser beam shot from one object to the other one. Immediately 1 vanished and the other one stayed there for about 10 minutes. It slowly moved off then stopped then moved again then stopped. Then slowly moved off and disappeared it was about 9:40 at night have never seen anything like it before ! The whole thing lasted about 20 minutes.
    I live near Melbourne in Australia and it was in the N.E sky at about 35 deg above the horizon.

  • Hi star gazers, 934pm from Hawthorn Melbourne, starting just right of Beatle juice we saw was looked like a satellite travelling west to east, making bright pulsing flashes of light. It did not travel a straight path like a satellite would. It slowly traversed north and east changing direction and seemingly speed as it moved. It would pulse in brightness between barely visible and almost star sized pinpoint searchlight bright.

  • Please ensure you include a location in your report. Reports without a location are less useful than a candle on the Sun! We need to know at least the suburb and town. For remote locations identify the place relative to local geographical landmarks.

    • Hi, I live in Caringbah NSW, and at around 8pm Saturday night 4th feb, 2017 (last night) I witnessed a fireball with a tail in the sky. I was looking south and there were a few clouds but none that obstructed what I saw. After about 10 secs it just disappeared completely. I even took some footage of it if you are interested in what I saw (even though the camera lense does not do it justice at all)
      Curious to know what it was ie meteor, star, plane

      Thanks for your time

  • Ok so lastnight at 8.34pm 1/2/2017 looking directly up at orion just to the right of it facing east there was a blinking star that would blink on and off every 10 seconds then to the left of orion it appeared to be like 3 stars moving in a triangle much the same as what satellites look like then one of the stars stopped and went back to join one of the other stars moving then they moved just to the right where the flashy star was then stopped now they are stationary and sill there but very faint..what could this be? Bribie island qld australia

    • Jeannie, thanks for the good details (time, direction, position relative to constellation & description). Did anyone else see this?

      • This same occurrence as mention before happened again on feb 4th in Perth around 8:30pm. The same light blinking on and off as well as three or four other moving stars that moved northward before dissappearing out of sight.

  • OK I live about 40 miles east of Atlanta GA, summer or winter if I go out and look up after midnight at least one out of every three times I do,I will see a light that gets bright then will almost disappear and some time does then reappears moves then stops,then bright,then gone.not always that order but is very strange, I don’t know of any satilights that move and stop,crazy thing is its always right where my eyes are focused, never off to my right of left but always happens exactly where I’m looking,I go out and look up a lot and have seen some very ,very unexplainable things but this is a thing I see a lot,any answers would be great,

    • I have witnessed the same strange phenomena, isn’t it bizarre there is No simple explanation for this anywhere on here…
      This is not a plane or satellite or anything in the usual excuses list, ISS perhaps..

  • Bright neon blue flashes from deep space. Sometimes it moves slightly and flashes only 2-3 times before disappearing and other times it stays stationary and flashes bright neon blue light consistently every 5 to 7 seconds. The last time I saw this, which was tonight, it stayed stationary in the sky for nearly 15 minutes. Called my family out to see it and they watched with me until it jut quit or went away. Anyone else ever see this? It’s always that blue color. Have been seeing this in different parts of the sky for a couple to three years now occasionally.

  • At approximately 6:30 a.m. on January 30, 2017 we saw what appeared to be a falling star; however, the light trial was much larger and brighter than normal. This was in the eastern sky and we live in West Tennessee.

  • so I live in a suburban town in south new jersey, about 15-30 minutes from Philadelphia, and towards the constellation Orion (south I think) just above the horizon, for a while now, I’ve just been seeing these golden lights moving slowly across the sky, eastward I think, and they don’t blink or twinkle or flash or anything, just a gold, and fairly large, maybe the size of an airplane, dot moving across the sky in a seemingly straight line and it continues indefinitely. I’ve been thinking maybe they could be satellites, I wasn’t sure because I’ve never actually seen one but it doesn’t seem likely to me, anyone know what it is?

  • I’ve recently seen a light that looks just like a star but brighter traveling directly upward quite fast. I saw it for about 15 seconds this morning in Brisbane around 4:55am and thought maybe it was a plane or satellite but to be going up ward so straight and then disappear threw me off. Help anyone?

  • I have seen the same as Kevin tolfree a small blinking white light. I seen it around 20 minutes ago and it’s still here. It has moved a Sam distance but it’s not stoped still and still flashing bright then dull white light. Anyone know what this is?

  • Viewed flashing and moving white bright light from lower blue mountains in new south wales, to the right of venus. Moved rapidly in different directions. Oncoming aeroplane could be seen turning on its front search light. Presuming picked up the light on its radar. Once aeroplane passed flashing light remained. Saw a number of fast moving solid lights level with the stars that werent aeropanes. Not sure how visible satellited are from here but didnt think that many satellites were visible?

    • Andrew, There are plenty of satellites visible from the Blue Mtns area. See the Heavens Above link in my answers below for a nightly list.

  • January 24, 2017 around for 10 AM in Provo Utah looking west towards Utah lake about 10 tiny bright lights moving from the west to the east pretty rapidly spaced all over above. What could they be

  • Hi in Macquarie Park Sydney – Stationary bright flash intermittently before fading and reoccurring every 2 mins or so to the North East approx 30 degrees. I assume from a star but not sure which one.

  • My question is this.

    When I look at a bright star or Venus I see what appears to be another
    red star just above it.

    Is this just an optical illusion? It does not seem likely to me that every
    thing I look at with the naked eye would have red companion.

    • Barry, You have found Mars! Its still bright although its now too far away to see much surface detail through most telescopes.

  • 5.20am Dingle Ireland Very bright orange coloured star with tiny white star beneath it in West . Stayed stationery for at least 5 mins but would get brighter and fade. Thought it was a satellite first but took photos with my camera. It then started moving East slowly it had one flashing light as it went overhead and was trailed by smaller star (tail maybe). You could see other planes in sky but they were nothing like this. I lost sight of it out the window and moved to other side of house to look out when it came back into view you could distinctively see 3 bright lights and one flashing light but you could not see tail. It moved far slower that other planes and disappeared into East.

  • Kilcullen, co.Kildare, Ireland. Two seperate stationary red lights very high up looking up to the west at 21.19 hrs. After 4 mins they faded away one at a time. Calm night with no wind and 6 degrees Celsius

  • I m living sri lanka.18th January 2017 at about 8.30 I saw something blinking my over head.it blinked once every 7s again and again.it was about 85 degree from the horizon near middle sky.in size it was equal to a satellite but it didn’t move.it stayed in a constant position for some hours..it situated at lepus constellation.

  • Hi,The cloud was very clear and d temperature was around 20degrees celcius,I saw 4 stars moving very early in d morning @ Iyana Ipaja Lagos Nigeria @ about 5:44am on Dec 19 2016,I rose my head up to about 65 degrees and I saw d stars moving,2 little stars moving due North and 2 big ones moving in d opposite direction,parallel to each other,d little ones that were moving due North entered the cloud,d movement lasted for about 3mins b4 it entered d cloud so I couldn’t see again,while d big ones continued and remained @ 210 degrees SE,I stood and continued watching for close to 7mins,then I entered the Mosque bcos it was already time for prayer…

  • For months now, and only at times when there is a specific type of cloud cover, I have been seeing orbs of light very high up in the sky, in the clouds above my home and the harbour rotating in strange but regular patterns. They rotate right and left in oval/circular patterns clockwise/anticlockwise, join together disperse, stand still, repeat. The lights are lost when they leave the clouds into clear sky and are only visible when they rotate back into the clouds. This has been happening quite regularly. I made my first report back in January/February last year. I find this quite mesmerising, to some extent frightening. I have not seen any beams of light up from the ground to the sky. These are definitely not search lights. I would like to know if anyone else in Mosman or the lower north shore on the harbour have seen the same lights. I keep searching to find if there is any vision on the net of the lights I am seeing about Sydney Harbour, specifically the area I live in . I have not seen nor heard of any reports. I would like to know if anyone else has seen these lights, they must. They usually commence when the sky has become quite dark. It is Summer here now, so the lights are appearing around 9pm onwards. Tonight I watched the lights from 9.17pm onwards for about 1 hr. I have tried to take video and photos of the lights but no clear evidence appears in the footage. The closest I have seen to these lights is attached Youtube vision. [first link removed] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jUs4IB-VUSc and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXgNwZwyvvI. Mosman Bay, Sydney. Leanne

    • Leanne, your description is spot on for searchlights! They are used at events or openings to attract attention They shine on the underside of clouds. You won’t see the beam coming up from the ground if there is not enough dust or moisture below the clouds for the beam to scatter off. I have seen some that are arranged in sets of four on a trailer. The four lights rotate together and each one ‘nods’ – you can (just) detect this motion in your second video link.

    • I don’t believe these are search lights. I’m in Virginia, United States, and I noticed these blue, red orbs circling in a seemingly random varying collection of clockwise and counter clockwise circles. I stayed out for about an hour to see if I could figure out a pattern but no luck. There are no places near me that would have an “opening” of that magnitude, and the local airports would be in a different area of the sky considering their location in relation to me. They’re very odd and placed all over the sky. They appear to be different distances away as some fade out and reappear, smaller circles than others. I’ve also just noticed an all around….. Different night sky, this year. I stargaze every night the clouds allow.

      • M, they are definitely searchlights here in Sydney. Your light sound the same, particularly if they are shining on the underside of clouds. Maybe you could drive around to view the lights from different directions and this would help pinpoint their location on the ground.

  • Hi, I live in the Seychelles, Mahe Island, 4.73 degrees south, 55.49 degrees east. Last night, 15th jan 2017, at about 20.55, looking W/NW
    at around 60-70 degrees from the horizon, I saw a slow blinking white light, similar in duration & intensity to an aircraft, but this light was stationary for approximately 1-2 minutes, then disappeared, very odd!
    any idea”s?

    Kind Regards

    Kevin

    • Same here Kevin.. I also live in Mahe and I’m just now looking at this “star” which is oddly bright and then it just fades away and comes back after a few minutes.. I’ve seen smt similar back home in South America but never bothered looking up what it is.. Up to now

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