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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4,492 responses to “Lights in the sky

  • I’m in Oyster Bay NSW and saw what I thought was a shooting star tonight somewhere around 1915 daylight savings time. It was just after dusk, sky was still a little light and I was looking at an angle of approx 45° towards the east. Light object just appeared to “fall” to earth”.

    Did anyone else notice this ? Just curious.

    • That was an meteor i can guess, i have witnessed same happening, i was seeing towards the sunset and then suddenly a flying objest like star which was too bright, was coming towards earth and then suddenly after 4-5 seconds that was totally disappeared.

  • Hi am from Sydney, I saw 3 star like moving satellites at 9:15pm 45 degree above , close to Saturn, West. Thought they were satellites but disappeared after 10 seconds…( they also moved in high speed , the third one changed speeds (fast at first slow and again fast) until it disappeared)

    Killara NSW .

  • I live in NJ right outside of philly and me and my friend just played hockey and we’re walking back to a 3 mile walk and at 11:20 we both saw a yellow ball zoom by really fast in the sky and vanished out of no where it was zooming by for not much more than a second, 30th of semptember.

  • In Nome Alaska i was looking up at the northern lights just before 11:30pm probably about 45º up i was looking north and saw what looked like a star went out? My boyfriend also seen it. It didnt leave trails or move just that it disappeared. The moon was on the opposite side of the sky and an orange color. I thought nothing of it until it disappeared. Im wondering if i saw a star die?

  • Melbourne East 16 September 2017 approx 7.30pm myself and two others witnessed an erratic moving object that had a single flashing light. At first glance you would say it was a plane, but there was no sound on a perfect still night and no red/green navigation lights.
    The flashing light did not flash in a constant pattern and every third to forth flash was like a really bright camera flash. My son looked through binoculars and could just see some sort of object, but it was far too high to make out clearly. He thinks it was probably military.
    We watched this for 10 to 15 minutes before we lost sight, behind trees.

    • Hi Chelasea, we saw a very similar thing a few nights ago (14 October, 2017). It was around 7:30-8pm, Caulfield Nth looking North West towards the city about 45deg up. A white light flashing with eratic timing and brightness. At its brightest it was several times brighter than Venus. For a couple of minitues it moved south travelling about 20 degrees laterally. Then it turned and travelled north, much dimmer flashing. It disappeared for a few minutes, then just as we were about to go inside a steady light appeared falling slowly towards the North Western horizon. If that was all I had seen I would have put it down to a meteor. It disappeared about 30 deg from the horizon, then about a minute later it reappeared flashing again and travelled North East for about 30 degrees laterally. The flashing got dimmer as it moved and then just before it disappeared another very dim light appeared beneath it moving at the same speed in the same direction for just a few seconds. Both then disappeared. Two of us watched it.

  • Location: San Antonio, TX
    Time: 7:45pm (shortly after sunset)
    Direction of trajectory: traveling north

    I happened to look up in the sky at about 75 to 80 degrees and witnessed a solid bright object moving at moderate speed. It was visible for about 7 seconds or so and proceeded to fade slowly. Neither Venus nor the Moon were visible. It was brighter than any other object in the sky. I had seen the International Space Station before which is not nearly as bright as what I saw this evening. Initially I thought it was the space station but that sighting didn’t take place for almost another 2 hours. Does anyone else know what this might have been? I followed up the sighting with some quick internet research and the only possible object I found that it might have been is the Mayak satellite. Has anyone else witnessed a similar sighting?

  • Bright starlike light in the sky looking north from Collaroy, that glowed maybe 5x brighter than the other star to the right of it, (just downloaded night sky app and it was Altair??) it then seemed to move slowly north away from us as if a plane and fade over 30 seconds until obscurity. Both my wife and I saw this and now quite perplexed!
    Relatively clear night looking up at about 75 degrees, not drunk!!! 😉

  • Saw two fast moving objects in the early morning skies of Bangalore. From North to South east direction. One object was very much bright and moving fast. The other one was not so bright but moving with the same speed may be at a distance of around 500 mtrs looking from the earth.

    Want to know what are these objects?

  • Went for a walk with my boyfriend around 10pm (we’re in northern California) and not even 2 houses down, he stopped dead in his tracks and told me to stop walking. I saw him looking at the sky, so of course I looked up and what we saw was an extremely fast moving light, much bigger than an airplane (there was one flying nearby and they looked NOTHING alike) that separated into 2 lights and then they completely disappeared a few seconds later. What was it??

  • I am from Bangalore and I saw bright green flash stretched of light in the sky around 12:30am today. It changed to whitish blue for seconds and back to green left me astonished and curious.

  • Monday, August 17, 2017 4:07am clear sky out of Elverta, CA. Bright red dot in sky. It looks like a red star with no twinkle and it is red. There is no motion coming from it.

  • Last night (Frid 15 Sept) at 7:27pm while sitting in my car in a suburb of Hobart, with my interior light and headlights off, I saw a red ball fall to earth from out of some low cloud cover. It was in a NE direction and was travelling in a vertical angle at a very fast speed, I think much faster than a free-falling object. There was no trail behind it and it disappeared behind Natone Hill in Lindisfarne within about 1.5 seconds. it was not a helicopter or plane, any thoughts?
    regards Chris

  • Hello, my name is Jamie Brock and I live in West Frankfort, IL., which is Southern Illinois. Anyways, tonight on September, 15th, 2017, I came outside to pray and talk to God like I always do while looking into the sky. It was tonight around 10:30p.m. and I was facing West. I have seen a shooting star before, but it was always fast, sideways and not that bright. It has been months since I have seen anything. Tonight was completely different. As I was standing there and talkig, a huge, very bright and slow moving object came fluttering down exactly in front of me and seemed VERY close. It also had a teal blue tint behind it and a very thick, bright, long tail. It was so intense that I cried a little and decided to do a little research on “falling objects”. Then, I came across this website and decided to leave my story. It was amazing!!!!!!!!

    • Also, I forgot to mention that I was barely looking up at a 45° angle. I was looking just above the tree tops. Like I stated, it was very slow and seemed to last around 10 seconds. The night sky is very clear tonight!!! And the object was falling straight down into the sky. Like it was dumped and finally disappeared into the sky as it was falling.

  • I just steeped out for a walk 7:10-7:18 as I faced north ,60deg,where there is two stars,there was no two extra equally bright stars like small version southern cross then in dozen second both star faded disappeared,stationary never moved,this was on august 20,2017

  • I looked up at the sky tonight since its been days since we have had a clear night. There was a very bright star that got my attention, but then it started moving westwards and it was as if it was a plane but flying with the lights off and every 15-20 seconds a light as bright as star would go on. What ever this was kept doing it till I lost site of it. I know what a satelites looks like, debris, comets etc. My location is Nelson, NZ. Any comments or anyone having similar experiences as this?

  • Hi everyone.

    Quite a time since my last contribution here, but now I need both professional and non professional suggestions to what might be the subject of the following report. Link to pictures included at the end of this report.

    This took place at the Island of Stord on the south west coast of Norway, approximately 70 km south of city of Bergen, early evening one day in end of June 2014.

    A family living in a house in my neighborhood, suddenly heard a bang against the roof of their house. The father of the family went out to see what had caused the bang. He looked around and discovered that one roof tile was broken, and noticed a strange “stone” laying on the ground underneath the part of the roof where a tile was broken.
    The strange stone had a matte, gray- black color and was kind of egg shaped.
    (I will describe it more in details later).

    He picked it up, and left it on a shelf in the basement. But next day, picked it up again to show it to a friend. While holding the stone in the hands, and moving it around as they studied it,- it broke into four pieces.

    He took care of the parts, and one year later his daughter gave it to me,- as she is a friend of my twin daughters and knew I am an amateur astronomer.

    I sent some,- unfortunately not so good,- pictures of it to a Norwegian geologist along with an e- mail two years ago. He did reply to my e- mail me, and did also forward my e- mail and pictures to a colleague of him at. Based on my explanations and the pictures I took at that time, their conclusion was that it might be some kind of slag. After their opinion not a meteorite. But I was told that I could send the pieces to the University in Bergen, and they would take a closer look at it when possible.

    I did not send it, as what ever it is, it does not belong to me. Even if it is just some kind of slag 🙂

    Since then I often thought about presenting the pictures and story here, as I have read, commented to,- and also made reports here myself before.

    So here it comes, along with link to fresh pictures. Unfortunately I do not have macro lens shootings.

    SHAPE AND COLOR
    The color is not easy to get correct on the images as I took them both by the use of pocket light and / or camera flash. However it is very close to the color of
    the lead in a normal pencil.
    It was close to egg shaped when picked up from ground, but as I explained already, it broke into four pieces later.
    There are some white spots in the surfaces and fracture surfaces. It also attracted to a rather weak magnet. (On one of the pictures actually a piece is shown attracted to the magnet of a miniature souvenir fridge magnet bottle from Great Barrier Reef given to me by my twin daughter Nerea, after returning back home from a two months stay/work period she had in Australia early 2016).
    When touching / working with the pieces , one gets a bit of powder on the fingers. Have a look at the white paper and finger tips on the images.
    It used to have a slight smell that I have never noticed before anywhere. Less smell now.
    Hard to describe it, but the closest I get is explaining it to be like the smell inside a mountain railway tunnel (lots of those in Norway … !), but completely without the raw part of the “tunnel smell”. More like “completely dry inside a railway tunnel smell”.
    As for more information about shape and looks, I believe it is best done by studying the images.

    Please note that one piece is seemingly missing from when it broke, so
    I had to support the stone with a wrench as for the image showing the stone like it was before it broke.

    AND I COULD NOT RESIST adding a line in Gimp photo edit software to show a shape on the inside fracture surface which, with enough will power and fantasy, shows the fossil of a sweet, tiny little extra terrestrial being sleeping in its egg. 🙂

    I hope there is room for a bit of “alternative explanations with a twinkle in the eye” here, so that this comment and related image (the last one) does not take away the otherwise serious intention to get an explanation of what this is all about.

    SIZE AND WEIGHT.
    Again I refer to the images- link. But the size of the “egg shaped stone” was around 50 x 40 mm.
    Weight of all pieces is 62 grams.

    STRANGE THING here is that even if it is slag, the slag must come from some place. The closest place slag is found here, is on the main land east of this island (again; Island of Stord). Close to the village of Husnes on mainland to the east, there is a factory plant producing aluminium. However I cannot see that this “stone” looks like aluminium slag, and if it is,- it must have escaped from the plant out the doors on mainland, climbed to some altitude, cruised over the sea on a south western heading over a distance of almost 16 km for then to (crash)land on a roof of a private house on the Island of Stord. Actually this would have been more amazing than a meteorite just falling down !

    I remember that I checked for space bound activity over Norway at that evening. I believe there was a rocket launch from Russia transporting a space ship with supplies to the ISS.
    I do not know much about rocket engine fuel, but I know there have been found slag from solid rocket motors. Could that be the explanation ?

    Please find the link to the images right under here.
    Good luck, and I hope somebody can explain what this “stone” actually is !
    http://foto.vela-x.com/#!album-11

    All the best from

    Harald Eide
    Island of Stord
    Norway

    • Thanks for the detailed report Harald. And for the good photos too. Im no meteorite expert but Im surprised it broke so easily in your hand when the shock of impact with our atmosphere is so much greater. The magnetism is a good sign but the cavities are a very bad sign for a meteorite and most likely indicate it is slag. But let’s see what the experts have to say…

      • Hi again

        Yes could be slag, but how slag can come flying trough the air and crash land on a roof is to me maybe even a greater mystery …

        Does anyone here understand about solid rocket motor slag….?

        Harald

  • Wichita, Ks . The object was circular with an orange and blue gaseous appearance surrounding and trailing the object..moving very fast..I watched it till it disappeared at a certain point.

  • Where you were – reports without a location will not be posted
    I am located in Ontario Canada, about 20 miles north of Lake Erie.
    – The time
    11 pm EST
    – The direction you were looking (north, east, south, west or in-between)
    I was looking toward the East/SouthEast
    – How high up you were looking (horizon is 0° elevation, half way up is
    45° and directly overhead is 90°)
    I was looking up 75 degrees toward the block of houses across the
    street
    – How long you saw the object
    Multiple objects over 5-7 minute period
    – The direction the object was moving
    Objects moved from South to North with 2 turns
    – Whether it was clear or cloudy
    It was clear last night
    – Whether you could see the Moon or Venus or any other astronomical object
    The moon was full and clear visible
    – Describe what you saw
    I saw 3 groups of approx 6 brightly lit objects per group. The objects looked like they would be 1-2 feet across but couldn’t make out a specific shape. The light was redish/orange about the intensity of a flare. The objects in each group were spread apart by about 2 seconds and followed the same flight path. Each of the groups were separated by about 1 minute. The flight path was over the next block directly east of my house and looked like 1-200 feet up. They travelled the length of 3 houses and performed 2 turns until they were out of sight. At first I thought it was one of my teenage neighbors messing with his drones but after 15-20 objects appeared over 5-7 minutes I knew this was something else. No noise from the objects and it was a clear calm night. Never witnessed anything like this previously.

  • Aspen, CO. Saw bright white diamond like light in sky 550am heading in north bound direction it was low flying, very slow moving, did not blink, no sound, no trail behind it (saw it right at dawn) I wouldnt have paid attention to it had it not stopped for a brief moment then continued on at slow pace in straight trajectory over the mountain tops. Any idea what it may have been.

    • Please add to my comment. It was not a plane or helicopter. It was flying a bit lower than the level most planes fly over- unless they are landing at our small airport. I would say i was looking at about 70 degrees – watched the bright white light come from south west heading straight north. Watched for 10 mins until to small to see. It was brightest thing in the whole sky.

  • – Denmark, Fredericia
    – 23:30
    – saw it at first right above me and it moved towards east
    – saw it at first around 90° and it dissapeared around 60-55°
    – 1.5-2 min
    – towards east
    – clear sky only 1 or 2 minor clouds i the distance
    – i could see the moon (big and bright) pretty clearly and the north star asweel
    – it was a bright white light, just as bright as the brightest star and around the same size, it was moving in 1 direction however it seemed to swirl a bit from side to side. and after around 2 min of observing it, it slowly faded away in the span of around 10-15 sec

  • Belconnen, ACT
    5AM
    Looking north
    Witnessed the light for 20 minutes
    Moved in a straight line as a solid blue light (looked like a star or satellite) then changed direction several times before beginning to flash (disappeared then reappeared in relatively the same area for about 5 minutes)
    Clear night
    Saw it from my balcony, Orion’s belt is the only constellation I know that is in the same view.
    Not a believer in ETs, looking for an answer though.

  • – The time 1am-3am
    – The direction you were looking NW
    – How high up you were looking 30mins ET 30° 30minET 45° 30minsET 55° Still In sight 45°
    – How long you saw the object-still moving out of sight
    – The direction the object was moving nw into space not horizon
    – Whether it was clear or cloudy clear
    – Whether you could see the Moon or Venus or any other astronomical object
    Beautifully clear night moon is off behind in NW
    – Describe what you saw
    Star like light moving around up(sharply for 30° to 45°) left 200-300yards right repeatly..drone like at first till it just stayed in one place hovering up and down now moving out slowly becoming smaller from view into space… All the star around moved like normal object has stayed in one location for over a hour
    No sound at all video will not pick up object.. Our pets /Neighboring farms dog were going crazy first spotted it ..in farm country no light pollution..
    Texas decatur

    • I live in tx as well, and I’m fascinated with stars and how they blink with colors. I was taking my dog out around 9 something almost 10pm 9/1/17 and this thing that resembled a star stayed still, then I saw it move right above me, and it wasn’t that bright until it was over me. I wanted to so badly go call my dad to come see so he would believe me, but as I stood there with excitement a light shined from it, and it went higher in the sky in a zig zag motion and it took off going even higher until it vanished.(it’s weird because this thing made no noise). I was thinking maybe it’s a helicopter but I usually can hear the wind) I tried to find it again with a friend on a really dark back road, but of course I didn’t see it.

  • I saw a double blue streak trailing across the sky in the Blue Mountains N.S.W. tonight at 23:00. It trailed a bright white light, possible fireball. My specific location is [Winmalee, coords deleted]. It was in the eastern sky. I have seen many meteors in all parts of the world but this is the first time I have seen a streak like this. [Made a wish anyway!]

  • Every night about 3:30 -4:00am I smoke a cigarette,and I always seem to catch this very bright light in the sky brighter the surrounding stars. It seems to move very slowly but it does move. I have this feeling to go inside but I’m a very curious person, so I’ll stay watching this “thing” slowly moving. It never fails. Faithfully every night. Couple of years back I’ve seen a bright orange, like the color of a setting sun,above a housing unit. I stared at it for about 3 sec and it just shot up into the sky. I went into the house scared. I’ve made my way into the living room in my friends place. Above the couch there was three white floating lights just moving around. I was terrified. I ran into my friends room and stood up all night.

    • Same thing here In decatur texas..looked like a drone flying around up down left right..thought maybe someone had one near by..then its just been hovering to stay in same spot..veen watching for over a 2 hrs this “star” hovering the now seems to be heading out into space getting smaller..its now a pin size dot..tonight at first I around 1230-1am was smoking a cig and saw it flying around..then it stopped and just has stayed in one spot still moving up and down like for wind correction..I had to get my wife to see it ..wth is this??its like its flying off into space..

      • Dec 2 2017 1:00 am
        PA
        I definitely just saw that same thing and watched it for hours. I also saw not as bright green lights scattered in the sky. Around 8 or so And they turned white and seemed like they also went deeper into space and after so long they looked like normal stars

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