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

  • Leongatha, vic, at about 9.50pm today.

    The roof of the house lit up as i walked towards it and the sky turned from black to the navy blue, similiar to te way it looks when there is a lightning storm. I immediately look up to see a gigantic tear in the sky, bleeding orange and pink. Straight above me, a bright, colourful ball of flame slid silently down the sky and out of sight, leaving a lasting image on both my retina and my memory.

    What was this phenomena? and where did it land?

  • facing mount kosiosko at charlottes pass aprox 9.45 saw a large blue flash which lit up a clear sky lasting 4-5 seconds.
    tripped me out.

  • My friends and I were sitting in the park in greensborough, melbourne, when the whole sky was lit up extremely brightly by a bright blue, yellow, pink and purple light!

    it was absoloutely huge and amazing as it shot across the sky and only looked like it was 100 metres above our heads!!

    i have NEVER seen something so AMAZING in my life!!! it was absoloutely terrofying and astonishing

    bright multicoloured fireball, was it a comet?

  • Just wanted to add, that was Croydon South in Victoria. And the night was very clear and it was about 45 degrees. Did anyone get a photo?

  • awesome !!!! 2/10/2007

    my wife and i were driving south down doyles rd shepparton victoria on our way home when we seen the

    biggest brightest shooting star / dunno what? flash in front of our car

    elevation was maybe 20 degrees at the most

    it was seen for at least 2 to 3 seconds

    the object was moving south west and it was a crystal
    clear night

    the colours were amazing teal greens and blues when we first saw it but as it dissapeared there was a purple and
    plum colour and then it was gone !!

    apart from the amazing colours it was how close the object was in front of us that blew us away this was no normal shooting star…it was huge ?

  • i saw the streak of light across the sky tonite- at the same time the other melbourne people did- i just stopped dead in my tracks- it was awesome! the most amazing things ive ever seen in my life!!!

  • I just saw a really bright shooting star about 9.48pm. I was outside facing to the West (away from it) talking to my Dad and we saw this bright streak reflect on my car so we turned around and we caught the tail end of it! The streak lasted for about 5 seconds afterwards. Was the brightest & biggest one my Dad (or I) have ever seen. I wonder if any of the Observatories caught any pictures of it?

    Was in the sky to the East, 9:48pm, 2nd Oct 2007, about 40-45 degrees, was visible for probably 10 seconds (from initial burn to dissipation of streak), moving from North to South. Clear night so I could see a lot of other stars 🙂 Hope that helps!

  • Wow! I’m so jealous. My Mum just called me to tell me about the meteorite she saw at around 9:45pm.
    She lives in Frankston, Victoria.
    She first thought it was a firecracker. It traveled very fast across the sky and lasted around 4 seconds, it was a white colour and had a trail. She thought she was seeing things until I found this site and saw other peoples sightings of the same meteorite, I then called her back and told her she was not seeing things!

  • From Heidelberg 9:46pm looked like a meteorite 45-50 degrees up from the horizon. Clear sky and the light streak lasted 2 seconds. Wasn’t even looking up at the sky and it was only when i thought someone was turning on a spot light that i looked up and saw the light come from a long streak across the sky……….my first sighting and it was so cool!!!

  • At approximately 9:45pm we witnessed a spectacular ball of orangey red followed by a tail that spanned most of the sky. Travelling from Northeast to South, veiwed from Croydon South. Lasted for at least 8 seconds, we were also expecting impact noise!! Anyone else? Magnificent!!

  • Tonight (2/10/07) in Noble Park Victoria we witnessed what looked like a meteorite trail across the sky in a southerly direction. The sky went bright blue as if in a sever thunder storm and looking approxiamatly 55 degrees towards east we saw a bright ball travelling north to south. The trail lasted around 4 or 5 seconds. The time was approxiamtely 9:45 at night. Clear sky but couldn’t see any astronomical objects besides stars. Very cool!!

  • October 2nd, 9:48 PM. Sydney.

    From cremorne looking south west over bankstown area. Looked like a meteorite, had a large green trail with sparkling white tip. Looked quite wide travelling towards ground. Lasted for less than 2 seconds. Expected to see a large explosion on impact, but there was nothing, not even a sound.

    I did not think this was a flare as it was travelling at great speed.

  • Hi there. I saw what I thought was an incredibly bright shooting star (?) on Saturday September 29th at about 10pm. It seemed to be tracking north to south directly over the city skyline. I saw this from Mosman. Did anyone else see this?

  • in reply to Brian,thanks.I checked my compass and can confirm your direction.I’m keeping my eyes open ….more space news……enjoy the sky

  • Tania

    I haven’t seen anything since that night but I have witnessed countless instances of much smaller shooting stars over the years and this was of a magnitude much, much greater than anything I have seen before. You needn’t have worried about it hitting the town of Boolarra as it was much farther south towards the coast. This I suppose is an indication of just howe big it was at the time of observation. The Peruvian meteorite reports are certainly interesting but I suspect, coincidental.

  • an answer to brian doherty.Because i was in rush to record, must tell him i seen excactly the same meteor aas him at confirmed 10.30. I also recorded my direction as the way i was standing rather than correct nth.or in other words 12.00 position llalalalalla.Brian it was so big i also thought it had crashed so close in boolarra it wasnt funny.As i said i have seen three meteor showers but this solo meteor was bigger brighter and lower than i ever seen.Briaan can you answer this if you have seen more because since that night there have been so many reportings online…read about peru meteors too if you can.thanx…

  • Hello Vivian. You are looking at the planet Venus. The planet is always bright, but is exceptionally bright at the moment. You did well to discern the crescent shape with your binoculars. Keep watching though as over the next month it will appear smaller and appear less of a crescent. By the end of October more than half of the disc will be lit by the Sun.

  • For the past few mornings at about 4:30am i’ve spotted this very bright star looking object( East from Cabramatta area Sydney)so this morning at 4:40am i used a pair of Binoculars and looked at the object. It was a very bright orange colour and it was shaped like a crescent. What was it that i saw?

  • Refering to Tania Martin’s report on 22 September, I too live in South Gippsland, Mirboo North and I saw this event as well.
    It was actually around 10.30pm and from my perspective looking West, it travelled from North to South in a shallow arc. I saw it for about 2-3 seconds before it disapppeared behind a large tree and I was also concerned that it would land before burning up. It was extremely bright and was about a quarter the size of the full moon that night and seemed to leave two parallel trails behind it. Whilst I’m sure this the same object Tania saw, I can’t explain why it appeared to be heading South whilst she observed it heading West.

  • Katie this sounds like the International Space Station. That passed near Coomera from 7:18 pm to 7:22 pm when, at about 23° above the western horizon, it moved into the Earth’s shadow and disappeared. Note that 23° is about the same as the span of an outstretched hand at arm’s length. There will be a better pass by the ISS tonight (25 September 2007), details for Coomera are as follows:

    Appears 18h04m15s SW horizon
    Culmination 18h09m09s SE h:56.0°
    distance: 413.5km height above Earth: 347.0km
    Disappears 18h12m38s NE h:6.1°

  • hi,
    Last night at around 7pm i was out the back of my house (coomera qld) when i noticed what looked like a star but it was moving at a rapid pace, was to fast for a plane but not fast enough to b a shooting star. I followed it for a few minutes and then it just seemed to vanish. It was heading East coming from a West direction.
    Any suggestions???

  • Hello Simon. No it is not a supernova or a signal from Mars. You were looking at the planet Venus, which is at its brightest for the year at the moment. Venus is so bright that that it is visible in daylight if you know where to look. Have a look for it tomorrow morning in the same ENE direction.

  • Did anyone spot an amazing sight that looked to the naked eye like a huge star in the East North Eastern sky at about 4- 5am this morning? (25th Sept.) Still very visible till sunrise.
    At first we thought it was a supernova and then perhaps a comet.
    Easily seen from the Gold Coast.

    I’ve heard nothing on the news about it?


  • 22nd sep,2007.10.00pm.
    A friend and i witnessed a shooting star flying east to west.We live in sth Gippsland vic.i have seen three meteor showers in my lifetime but this was a bigger shooting star than i have ever seen.It was so low i even wondered if it would crash to earth.it was heading defintily west where i didnt even see it disintergrate in air.Who else seen it as there have been quite a few sightings on previous couple of nights in sep ,but only one report of a girl camping in U.K. who witnessed a shower.

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