Meteor Fireball Lit up Sky in Port Lincoln South Australia; Bangs Heard, Ground Shook
A meteor research centre has captured an image of a fireball that lit up the sky over the Eyre Peninsula and reportedly caused the ground and buildings to shake at Port Lincoln.
The bright blue meteor shot across the sky just after 11pm and was spotted by people as far away as Adelaide.
Port Lincoln resident Lila Watson was driving home when she saw what she initially thought was a shooting star.
“It just got bigger and bigger and it was just this big flash across the sky and there were sparks coming off it,” she told The Advertiser.
“It just lit the sky up and I saw it go southeast.
“I pulled up home and I heard two massive bangs, maybe a second apart, and then the sky lit up again.”
“It definitely shook the ground – I just felt the whole earth shake twice.”
Ms Watson, 17, said the fireball was baby blue and gold in colour.
“It was really crazy,” she said.
Hannah Fredrickson lives in Boston, near Port Lincoln, and saw the object while driving along Lorikeet Court.
“Out of nowhere the sky lit up to a light electric blue colour for around seven seconds and over to my right I got a quick glimpse of what I reckon may have been the tail end of the meteorite,” she said.
“It was unlike anything I have seen before.”
The Desert Fireball Network, which operates from Curtin University in Perth, captured the meteor on one of its cameras.
The organisation, which carries out research into fireball and meteorite science, will study data on the meteorite over the coming days.
“The image itself is stunning,” Desert Fireball Network spokeswoman Renee Sayers said.
“It’s actually quite common – the rarity is getting quite good footage of it.
“Maybe in the coming days we may work out where it came from.”
Ms Sayers said the loud bangs and the shaking ground and buildings would not have been caused by the fireball hitting Earth.
“The shock wasn’t from it hitting the ground; It is like a sonic boom shock, a pressure shock,” she said.
Astronomer and president of the Astronomical Society of South Australia Joe Grida said the fireball could have been the result of a meteor shower.
“There is a meteor shower that the earth is travelling through but I would have thought by now that would have subsided,” he said.
“If it was that bright, it could have been the size of a basketball.”
Mr Grida said despite the object causing a spectacular light show, it would have been thousands of kilometres away.
“These things are travelling at about 30-40 thousands kms an hour (and) it would have been very high up as well; we’re talking perhaps 30-40kms up,” he said.
In July, CCTV footage emerged of a mystery fireball that briefly turned night into day near Port Lincoln.
People across the state reported seeing a bright, fast-moving object light up the sky.
Some witnesses described the unidentified flying object as “bright orange” while others said it left a “green tail” as it tore across the sky.
Source: The Advertiser
Main Headline image credit: © Desert Fireball Network, Curtin University