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

4,766 responses to “Lights in the sky

  • This morning in New Town, Hobart, Australia I saw a bright orange fireball trail about 45 degrees east. it was pretty amazing looking! i have no idea what it was however it was coming down quite quickly!

    • Seen by a number of local residents. It was a high flying Emirates passenger flight to Auckland NZ. Very visible catching the rising sunlight.
      Flights to & from NZ often overfly Hobart.

      • The ABC has a story and footage of it. The footage is good for beginning with a wide-angle shot to give context against the horizon and other recognisable objects, but a tripod or holding the camera on or against a stable surface would have helped further. Sydney Observatory have noted this before as jet contrails at sunset and sunrise make for common “UFO” reports!

  • I live in Southern Pennsylvania (in the middle of nowhere) with nothing but fields and hills of forest surrounding me, for the most part. I see the stars and sky travel regularly and always stop to take my time to look with my 3 year old.
    Getting to the point… What I’m seeing tonight is nothing like Iv’e seen before. I let the dog out and immediately noticed a star that was brighter then the rest. White/yellow and moving. I could tell it was moving until I stared at it for a few moments. It was almost hoovering, side to side and up and down. It is making a move every minute or 2.
    I then started to look all around me (the rest of the ski) I see several (6-7)… some further away and some that seemed too close for comfort; especially after seeing how quickly they can move.

    I’m a pretty open minded person. Sure, there’s more then likely other worlds, life’s, living organisms out there. Why not wonder? It’s nothing I ever put a lot of thought into it.
    Truth be told- I really don’t know how else to explain this mysterious sky activity tonight.

    I have seen some similar post here over going back weeks…
    Is anyone else stopping and taking the time to look up and enjoy the stars and witnessing this as well? (ps. Not enjoying)
    For the sake of my sanity and any chance at sleeping tonight… I need some input.

  • Observed a number of nights looking north east from s.e.Qld at 45 degrees, a stationary, slowly blinking white light. Approximately 20 seconds between flashes, then stopped without apparently moving. About the intensity of a bright star. White only.

    • Bret, Can you identify the constellation it is in, and a nearby star or stars, please? This will assist others to look for the same light. You could use the sky chart attached to one of our Monthly Sky Guides, or any of the popular planetarium programs or mobile apps.

  • Thank you to everyone who has posted reports over the last couple of weeks and apologies for not moderating and approving them promptly. Hopefully back on track now…

  • Hi, I live in Wodonga Victoria and last night 23/2/17 at approx. 20.45pm – 21.00pm my brother and I witnessed a satellite? traveling west to east extremely quickly. We would estimate 5 times faster than the speed of a normal satellite as we saw many last night in 20 minutes due to no moon.
    It flew over us at 90 degrees directly overhead, was visible for around 45 – 60 seconds maximum due to its speed and at the same time an aircraft traveling towards Sydney was directly overhead as the satellite was directly overhead with the satellite 5 times faster than the aircraft across the sky (The aircraft was traveling sth west to nth east). We witnessed many other satellites after watching this one but at an visual angle of approx. 20 – 30 degrees and traveling south to north mainly and the time visible was much longer and speed across the sky much slower.
    Looking forward to your comments

  • Seen a light in the sky like a star about 80-90 degrees in sky looking from Brisbane about 7:12 pm 23/2/2017. Heading north to south. Very high up. No sound and moving quite fast if it was very high.might be a moving satellite and suns reflection but if not was defiantly not an air craft because it was just a ball of light from the time I seen it to the north to the time it went out of sight heading south.

  • Friday night, Feb. 17, approx. 10:00 PM. Struthers, Ohio (suburb of Youngstown, OH). Let dogs out; looked up at night sky, very clear, a lot of stars. Identified Big Dipper, etc. Lots of white stars in sky (very clear night). Looking straight up admiring stars when I noticed group of about 12 stars (not so white; pale yellow) coming from south very fast. Over my head in no time, over the house, and then gone. Very fast thru sky. No noise whatsoever. Almost couldn’t believe what I saw. Looked like an independent group of stars moving very fast across the sky. Gone in no time. Called Police Dept. about a hour later; no other reports. Very puzzling. Doing some searching on internet. Could it be military aircraft camouflage holography? Was very high up in sky.

  • central coast nsw ,app 5.15 am 23.2. 17 very clear sky saw two what looked like stars moving from sw to ne ……similar to the sth cross pointers in distance between them leading one slightly brighter or larger no beacons no noise very high because at first thought they were stars very very fast went across sky in about 30sec

  • Hi guys i live in gold coast and i saw what seemed to be a star quite larger than the southern star an much much brighter it was at around 6:45 est i was looking to the east about 34 degrees up it moved slowly downwards and to the north for about 10 minutes and then disappeared it freaked me out abit i took a video an photo of it has anyone seen something like this?

  • At approx 10:30 pm tonight 22nd Feb looking east towards Sydney saw a bright “falling star” with a small burst of light straight behind it. Falling directly down approx 45 degrees above horizon. I am located approx 50 km north east of Sydney. Bottom of blue mountains. Different to other falling stars I’ve seen as shorter path and following short burst behind it. Golden in colour.

  • From Columbus, Ohio. I have been seeing triangular multi-colored lights (like led lights) up in the sky. Right after dark. Two I saw were moving sideways and then disappeared. they look to close to earth to be a satellite. And they disappear to quickly to be a satellite. Started seeing them in the last five months. One I saw was when I was looking south/west. The other two I saw looking north/west. Two lately I’ve seen (north/west) were at 8:30 est. the one I saw in the south/west was at 2:45 am est.

  • sighted on the evening of February 20th at 9.25pm. In a southerly direction at about 45 degrees , what I thought was the ISS , quite bright , heading north west , lasted only 5 seconds before fading completely out of view. 3 minutes later coming from the east over head going west , I thought it was the ISS again , ( I do watch it regularly fly over ) , but again , it dimmed to a very faint light for about 20 seconds , then brightened for another 10 – 15 seconds , then dimmed again until it went out of view towards the north east. Very strange indeed , never seen this before .

  • I’m in Cartland, New York on 02/20/2017, driving West at 8:18pm. Over the coarse of 10 or so minutes, there has been a stationary light VERY bright and low in the sky. It hasn’t been flashing, but it’s slowly beginning to give the effect of distance. Like if it’s going away, also, it seems to be higher in the sky. I said it was a star now it’s confusing. Father said UFO…any ideas?

    • I was unable to see it anymore after it lowered, changed to a yellowish color, then i wasn’t able to see it. Around 8:56 pm. Cortland to Groton New York

  • I saw tonight, as mentioned many times in previous comments left here without a plausible answer, a white flash of light that blinked on like a camera flash then again 5 seconds later in the same area, 4 flashes in total. S/E from Sydney Australia at around 10pm est.

  • Lights in sky Cambridge Ontario , it was about 9pm we drove to the store the was a bright light in the sky , thought it was a plane . by the time we were done shopping its been sometime and drove back the light was still in the sky, which we found odd. Then it moved quickly away! Then two more appeared in the opposite direction. Way on. The other side of town looked the same as the first one. We live on the outskirt’s of town do we have better veiw of the night Sky’s. We never seen any thing like that.

  • From October 15th/2015 when I saw that white Light moving very fast over eastern sky to South eastern sky my Planetary Observation Skill has been honed…..since I have observed now a Extraterrestrial OBJECT/PLANET Venus very Brightly light up the Evenning Western Sky since October 2016….it even hurts my Retina/Eye looking at it….it shines different Colors Green/Red etc….Optical Illusions I am told…..Planet Mars is Right behind it further away…. February and it is still.quite bright….

  • Hi, it’s 15/2/17 at 10.05 pm and I’m standing on my south facing top floor balcony in drummoyne. Quite high up. To the South east above the next ridge line where the drummoyne post office is and slightly to the right is a stationary white and red flashing light.
    It seems quite large. White light flashes slowly 3 times then a red light comes on for about 5 seconds followed by a bright white flash then nothing for 5 seconds and the white flashes return. This has been going on for at least half hour as far as I know. There are no cranes in that direction, too high anyway ( 30-40 degress up). Cannot see any object between flashes as you would if a helicopter.
    Just sitting up there and flashing

  • February 13 at night 8:30 at India in kerala alappuzha district kayamkulam town a group of 8 and more like an oval shape at 8:30 pm I loked the sky accidentally then I saw this at that time about 80° angle of view and it is blinking frequently one star at the top is brighter than others after one hour about 9:45 it came down without collapsing at that time it’s about 45° angle I just wondered about the object whatever it is and I don’t think so it’s a star group at 2 am midnight I woke up and checked the sky then I just shocked the phenomenon has disappeared …… I need to know about it……

  • Today February 12, 2017
    It was like 6 something in the evening. I Live in the philillines. In pangasinan
    I saw a white streak in the sky. It was moving a bit fast, and going slantly in the sky. Is it a shooting star? And after that i google it and i made a wish.

  • I live in Fairfield in sydney
    Time – 20:20 (8:20 pm) 12/02/2017
    Looking Easterly
    I was watching an aircraft with the flashing lights cross the sky in a northerly direction.
    About 45 degrees above horizon I noticed a bright orange/red light that was stationary, after about 10 seconds it dropped to 40 degrees fairly abruptly then stalled before dropping further out of my view behind houses.
    I would estimate it to be off the coast of Sydney
    It was a little cloudy

  • Loskop dam Mpumalunga South Africa, 8pm, to the north close to the 7 sisters we noticed a flashing light. We watched it for roughly 20 minutes. It did not flash regularly, some times it was bright and short or dull and short some times a longer flash. The object was also moving randomly up and down then left to right. We called our brother who lives 400km away to ask if he could see it, which he could! We both watched it until it disappeared behind the horizon towards the east. Both of us could see it in the same part of the sky even though we were so far away from each other, logic states it must have been far out and jet it moved a substanical distance in 20 min and gave a distinctive flash which sometimes also times also appeared as a beam radiating from the object.

  • Bardon, Brisbane, Australia. Around 8pm, maybe 8:10pm. Facing north north west. Object that seemed very high, slowly flashing, very bright, white, moving slowly towards the north. Not a plane. At least not a normal plane. Flashes were slow, maybe 20 seconds apart. And bright, not as bright as Venus, but close. Could see it between flashes, just. Kept losing it. My guess, a tumbling satellite. Faded as it went north, getting lower toward the horizon, but also further from the sunlight.

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