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

  • At 2.50pm today 24 April 2017. A planet was quite visible, nearly due west of Beachmere Qld. No binoculars needed. Don’t know what planet it was but first time I have seen one so clearly, and such a bright day?

    • John, that must be Venus. It is at its brightest at present so is easily visible to the naked eye in the daytime sky. But it is hard to locate initially. Well done!

  • Between 5am and 6am on the 23rd April 2017, I saw the largest star like shape in the sky. I was facing north, looking at a 45% angle, and I could see the crescent shaped moon above the large shining light. I looked like the star had five lines extending from the centre. I have never seen anything like it before and considered that it might be the lights from an airship balloon. I observed it for almost an hour and it never moved so there goes my theory about an airship. I was so fascinated by it that I woke my family up to see it too. It was still noticeable at daybreak after 6am, but not nearly as brightly illuminated. What is it? Could it be the large meteor that the new have been reporting was passing close to the earth?
    I am in Greystanes NSW Australia.

    • Debra, No, it was not the asteroid that was recently reported as having passed Earth – that is long gone. It was the planet Venus! At present it is in the north-eastern sky before dawn and is at its brightest also at present. The five lines you saw are just effects of your eyesight, Im afraid. And yes, it was still visible at dawn and even into full daylight (at present) if you know exactly where to look for it.

      • Dear Andrew,

        Thank you for telling me what I saw in the night sky. I have observed it again this morning and have never seen Venus look so big and so bright. It is just beautiful. This morning it was higher in the sky than when I witnessed it last time. It was nice of you to inform me of what it was, and today I made a wish on it. I have always looked for Venus in the sky as I know it is the brightest star in the sky. This was the first time in my life (57 years old) that I have seen Venus look so large.

  • Farnborough, Hampshire, UK
    The time – between 11pm and midnight of 21st April 2017
    Looking directly overhead (90°)
    I was outside for about 10-15mins
    The lights were moving around the house in a circular path, sometimes stopping before moving on again
    The lights went around in a large circle. I was standing at the side of the house – when I looked towards the east I saw them travel past or stop for a time. Then looking towards the front of the house to the west, they continued their path with a constant speed.
    As it was cloudy I could not see any astral constellations
    They seemed to be round dots of lights. At first I thought it might be people shining torch lights off the low cloud, however, as the lights’ path took them from the back to the front of the house it appeared to be unlikely. The lights were a constant round size in all observed locations.

  • I guess I should include my observation in the mascot area nsw 17th of april around 8.30 pm while feeding the stray cats with a friend. Whilst looking past the trees towards the sky i saw this huge light hovering in the sky. Looking at it the light began to move in a radical manner for 10 seconds and then disappeared after another 10 seconds it reappeared closer to where the car parked and disappeared after it did previously.

    • Just a correction it definitely was not a meteor shower or engine fuel or any of the above-mentioned theories by sydney observatory… I once had seen similiar account over north bondi in 1987

  • 3:15pm 19th april 2017 ,50-70 degrees looking west from Botany sydney N.S.W , white dot (star like) in daylight sky not moving , 4-5 flashes of triangular blueish light quickly appeared well beneath the white dot , my 23mp camera still makes it look like ive used potato cam .

    • i live in worcester uk about 10.10pm tonight was out side with friend he points out a flashing white object in the sky and their was no red or green like what you would get with a plane or helecopter it was moving to fast for that and was completely silent at first i thought mabe a satalite but im not sure they flash so…yeah who knows

  • I live in a condo high up and three lights are always in the nights sky. I looked at em with binoculars and they r with with red and they move. What it looks like to me is a protective unit. Pew Pew Perth this land is ours.

    • I photographed them, they’re continuous parallel lights red top yellow middle and fainted white in bottom, I was photographing the Orion Nebula and didn’t expect those lines across my frame.

  • The time was 6pm
    I was looking due North
    30 to 40° of the horizon. When i saw an object that looked like it was on fire sweep across for 4seconds roughly. It was moving east to west and stayed at the same height throughout its trajectory before dissapearing behind the clouds. The night was clear with a little bit of cloud on the west and im not sure if it was dark enough to know exactly where the moon was.
    If anyone can ahed some light into this id really appreciate it.

  • Today, evening, Gold Coast, Collongatta Beach , Australia, a buetiful light apear in the sky, colourful, moves fast, as if it was a firecracker, with no noise, going from south to northwest. It disappear behind a building. What was it?

  • Location: Lismore NSW
    Time: around 6pm
    Looking: west
    Elevation: object appeared in sky between zero degrees and 45 degrees
    Direction: object travelling in a west/ south west direction

    It looked like a fire ball in the sky which lasted 10 seconds. At first I thought a plane may be crashing as it was quite big, however it disappeared before it got to the horizon. Certainly did not look like any shooting star I had ever seen.

    • I saw this exact same phenomenon approximately 2 miles south west of Woodward Oklahoma, United States. The fireball I saw was traveling very slowly in a southern direction. Elevation was the same. I also thought it was a falling star but realized it was moving to slowly.

  • I live in Numulgi in Northern NSW. At abt. 1757hrs this evening Sun.16.4.17, a very bright green/blue/white object descended from the N.East at abt 45deg. I was looking due west.The flight lasted abt 2/3 seconds. Traces of red accompanied the object. I expected the object to crash to earth on the horizon, some distance from me in the south west. There was no sound. Dusk fell abt. 1800hrs. I have seen many so called ‘space objects’. I have never seen an object so big or so clearly as this object.

  • On the 12/4 2017 I went outside at 7.08pm and saw 2 bright stars that seemed odd to be in the position they were in they had never been there before declination approx 45:/: and south east in sky Jupiter was east and southern x to Thier right then after 5 sec they faded quickly they were not moving then just gone anyone else catch a glimpse I’m puzzled

    • Just noting that Mario’s sighting of two ‘out of place’ bright stars that had never before been observed that position before sounds uncannily similar to my sighting on 4/4/2017 of two unfamiliar bright ‘stars’ below the Southern Cross just to the left of the pointers at approx 7.05pm (the two bright ‘stars’ had vanished in under 1 minute while I ran inside to get a camera. Very clear viewing conditions at the time also, no cloud).
      Reported here on 5/4/2017.

      Mario, if you check in here again maybe you can note your location at the time of the sighting. My sighting was from SW Vic.

  • I live in Negros Occidental, Phillippines. The first was last April 8, 2017 i saw it around 10:30 – 11:00 PM, 45° north-west. The sky is very clear and moon is so bright up in the sky. I stared at the star with blinking red green and white color for about 30 minutes and notice that it is moving very slowly downward going west. I can’t follow the star’s movement because there’s a building that is blocking my view. The second time i saw the same star on the same location was on April 10, 2017 from 10:00 – 11:00 PM but this time i saw another one that is blinking like the way the other is doing. The second star is quite far or smaller than the other and its location is 10° exact west but moving also very slowy going north while the first star is still 45° of north-west going west then disappear after an hour

  • Hi there I have 2 pics of 4 bright lights orbs changing directions slowly but in the same area location which was located either near widford or close as ,me and a fellow friend go on night rides on out bicycles I’m from England Ware herts and we saw these lights hovering and changing speed almost like a shooting star but it stops next to the others and then one other does the same we was watching these for about 1hr and a half and they were silent these were in the middle of no where around 1am ,now I know 100% there were no balloons or drones or planes or even helicopters ,but couldn’t say what they were .

  • April 4th 2017 Approx 7.05pm AEST Southern Otways Victoria.

    Bright flash from object or objects approaching Pointers from SW (like camera flash in sky, approx 30 seconds apart (possibly longer or shorter between each flash). Three flashes observed heading North. Possibly one additional flash from further to SW.

    I was standing on the front deck looking south (Southern Otways, Victoria) when I noticed several intermittent flashes at an elevation of around 30 degrees travelling in the vicinity of the Pointers below the Southern Cross. After a couple of minutes, seeing no further light flashes, I walked to the end of the deck and looked up again where I noticed a hands width left of the Pointers two bright stationary ‘stars’ parallel to the angle of the pointers about a thumbs width separated to the vertical. The lights were a bright yellow/white and at least as bright or a bit brighter than the Pointers.
    These ‘stars’ appeared unfamiliar (enough for me to run inside for a video camera) and within the space of around 1 minute when I had returned outside, the ‘stars’ had vanished (very clear sky, no cloud). The really interesting thing is that the obects were completely stationary (for the 15-30 seconds I observed them before running to grab a camera) and in this way completely unlike satellites or other orbiting objects I have observed.
    This was just over an hour prior to the ABC ‘Stargazing Live’ broadcast so I imagine many others were looking skyward being a mild and cloudless night in Victoria. Must have been a few cameras or eyes trained on that part of the sky. Be interested to hear if anyone else saw this and may have seen the star-like lights disperse or blink out during the minute I was inside getting the camera.

  • saw bright red, green and white flashing lights looking north west at shelly beach new zealand, hovering at about 45 degrees in the sky, for approx 15-20 mins, did a very gentle drop to about 35 degrees then back up to 45 then slowly headed from the northwest directly overhead to the southeast from above muriwai beach towards auckland with no sound, did not look like a plane or helicopter

    • April 1st (no joke) 2017 at 06:15 in England.I saw a bright white light travelling North. I thought it may have been a shooting star but it was in daylight. Much too fast for any aircraft and was visible for less than 2 seconds. Any ideas? Ray

      • On April 1st 2.30 am in western Australia i saw a largish bright object with a very long tail. Going in a sightly west , east direction.

  • I saw what looked like a star at first. A closer look with binoculars revealed white, red, and possibly another color lights, some were clearly blinking. It appeared to be stationary in the sky but you could tell by the lights it would rotate somewhat. It was in the western sky of central Louisiana. My wife and and I watched for maybe half an hour and it never seemed to move across the sky. I’ve never seen the space station but I’m told that sighting lasts only a few minutes as it races across the sky. Sighting was about 11:30 PM. What the heck did we see?

  • 2.20am ? march 22 2017 Perth city location 40 – 50 degree horizon was looking west sky travelled south to north !! Was huge slow travelling very long tail last 10 seconds large and steady was very close !! Ball was 3 times size of largest visible planet/ star in sky 3 time closer too !! Than any objet in sky in vision of time !! Was amazing expected to find a shower at moment but can’t !! Was very close to cbd like passing through buildings ! usually not many stars to see most nights to many lights around !! Was so large and vibrant !! Almost scared me a little !! Beautiful !! Can’t find any news of activity expected ! Did anyone else see it in Perth ?

    • I didn’t see this in Perth but I have seen your exact description before. It was dusk and I was driving and I saw a giant green / yellow like ball hovering and then as I kept looking in shock it literally took off and vanished..

  • Tonight in Italy (precisely in Terni) between 11:15 PM I saw a red star-like glowing thing in the night sky, it stood still for a while and then it slowly faded away, what could it be? It was so far away that it couldn’t be a chinese lantern…

  • Hi,
    In mid of 2014 I have seen bright white light figures in the night sky at around time between 9pm and 10pm and they were moving closure towards me and I quickly walked away into a room.
    Location.. Cumins unit in stleonards Sydney. after I saw this unit was demolished completely and Royal north shore hospital was expanded.
    I couldn’t give you the direction but I saw this event in the sky from the corridor. This was actually shown by a person who can’t speak a word.

  • 9.39pm 2143hrs) West Australian Standard time at 90deg high, heading south-west from Kalgoorlie West Australia: large orange sphere (looked like 10-15 mm to the naked eye) travelling slowly. Observed for approx. 40 seconds until obscured by local houses and trees. The sphere flickered like a burning fire, lighter orange showing over darker orange. Way too slow to have been a meteor or satellite but travelling too fast for a plane, seemed to have had a set trajectory. Had time to see it for the first time coming over at 45 deg from the left to call my husband to come and see it. He watched it travel south-west from the back yard.

  • It was a mild afternoon in my middle eastren arabic country Bahrain, it wasn’t dark (no where near dark), but it wasn’t sunny either, the sky was clear with no clouds at all , i was only 6-7 years old and didn’t know much, all i could remember is me sitting outside while my mother cleaned the car as i looked up in the sky to see a glaring orange ball flying ahead, it was way high and flew fast, it kept flying around for about 1 minute before it disappeared out of nowhere, keep in mind, it’s totally impossible for a middle eastern country to have any form of ”Aurora light”, and even if it did, it would’ve happened on nightfall, this happened on afternoon.

  • Driving Northwest from Grantville, Victoria, Australia time approximately 8:45pm, saw bright burning object moving about 45 degree angle down towards the horizon for about 6 seconds. Object appeared white then faded then appeared again looking greenish white then faded then appeared bright burning orange then faded again. Object was moving very fast.

  • I live in Duluth, GA. Tonight around 8 PM I noticed a huge white light in an otherwise black, starless sky. It remained in place. I grabbed my binoculars and saw huge flashes of bright red light pulsing from one side of the white globe. It finally moved horizontally across the sky and out of my view. Very unsettling!!!

  • I have just seen a pink glow in the southern sky then it became a bright red for a few seconds .
    The sky Is now quite dark with no colour at all .
    The above appeared in the sky in Brisbane Australia at about 10 .05 pm .
    Gordon Davidson

  • I live in Jamaica and about 5 mins ago, 12:39 am, i saw two bright, red lights in the sky hovering around each other. I stopped and stared for a while to see if my eyes were fooling me then i got my friend and he made them out too. He suggested that they might be drones which i thought was weird because who would be flying them so far up in the sky and that late at night. Then as we watched, the objects flew closer to each other, it appeared as if they merged into one and then they faded and disappeared. Could it have been a UFO sighting?

    • I saw it too sometime in 2016 can’t seem to remember which month it was, but I wasn’t the only one who saw it; my boyfriend and our neighbors saw it too..we tried to video it but our camera ain’t that good so we have no proof but it was in portmore st Catherine though! Still puzzled what was it we saw, it was more than one of them, we watched until they finally disappeared. They were moving so I know something was up.

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