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Green 'Fireball' Flashes Across The Sky And Stuns Onlookers In Australia

Dominic Smithers

Published 

Green 'Fireball' Flashes Across The Sky And Stuns Onlookers In Australia

Featured Image Credit: Shaz Hussien

People in Australia got the shock of a life time when they looked up and saw a mysterious green 'fireball' streaking across the night sky.

The stunning scene was captured by Shaz Hussien, who shared the video to the Australian Meteor Reports group on Facebook. In the video, a voice can be heard asking: "What the f***?"

Another incredulous-sounding person replies: "That's a f***ing asteroid, mate!"

Several other videos have also been shared by others who witnessed the bizarre spectacle - one such clip was posted by Benn Atkinson, who was filming from BHP Redmont Rail Camp in the Pilbara region on Sunday (14 June).

Writing on social media, one person said: "It was truly amazing to see, I saw it around midnight last night."

While another added: "Saw this at work as well but it seemed more colourful and brighter where I saw it."

And while there has been some debate over what it was, with some claiming it may have been debris from a recently launched rocket, experts believe it is most likely a natural object.

Glen Nagle from the CSIRO-NASA tracking station in Canberra told ABC news: "It was really a spectacular observation. People have captured something very special here.

"Every single day, our Earth's atmosphere is hit by about 100 tonnes of natural space debris.

Credit: Storyful
Credit: Storyful

"Most of it is falling over unpopulated areas, or over oceans, and during the day when you are not going to actually see them.

"But these sorts of things do happen quite commonly. Most of them are quite small pieces but they do look very spectacular in the sky."

Though Renae Sayers, from Curtin University's Space, Science and Technology Centre, said the 'jury was still out' on what was behind the sighting, explaining: "It's absolutely stunning. It's a ball of green... what you are seeing is a giant flash of light, it's almost like a ball with this gorgeous long tail.

She added: "The reason why this is really interesting and the jury is out with our scientists, is that earlier this year we shared a paper of a grazing fireball that actually entered our atmosphere, burned 1,300km across the Australian sky and kicked back out into interstellar space, and that's what this looked like as well.

"The jury's still out, it could be space debris, or it could be a grazing fireball encounter."

Matt Woods from the Perth Observatory said it was most likely rock burning up in the atmosphere.

He told Perth Now: "It is freezing and as it hits the atmosphere it warms up and so the outer layers melt.

"It's like rubbing your hands together, it is due to friction and that is where you get the brightness and colour from."

Topics: Science, Weird, space, Australia

Dominic Smithers
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