Watch: Green flash as meteor streaks through sky in Australia
Residents of northeastern Australia were shocked to see the night sky illuminated by a green flash as a meteor fell to Earth on Saturday.
People living in the town of Croydon in rural Queensland reported hearing a booming noise that made some houses shake, and seeing a burst of light streaking through the sky.
Jim Robertson, whose dashcam captured the “bright beaming light” shortly after 9.20pm local time, described the “fluke” incident to Australian news outlet 9News, saying: “There it was, it was a couple of seconds.
“We just thought, ‘What the hell is that? Are we being [invaded]? Was it a plane crash? Was it space junk?’
Residents across North Queensland were left stunned after a meteor lit up the night sky on Saturday. https://t.co/O8xV8fxjYP @alwilkin_ #7NEWS pic.twitter.com/sVXt9BYnP9
— 7NEWS Mackay (@7NewsMackay) May 22, 2023
“ï»¿This thing was so huge and the light was just so bright. There was a plane coming in at the same time, so those pilots would have had a great view.
“It was a fluke experience that we were lucky enough to get on the dashcam.”
Astrophysicist Dr Brad Tucker, of Australian National University, said the flash was “definitely” caused by a meteor which he estimates would have been travelling between 100,000 (62,000mph) and 150,000 kmh (93,000 mph).
He told 9News: “This was a bit of space rock essentially, probably broken off an asteroid in the asteroid belt.
“As it hit the earth’s atmosphere, it created this bright flash and show in the sky.
“The blue-green colour is iron and nickel on the meteor heating up. It breaks apart and as it breaks apart, that’s what gives us that flash and sonic boom that people heard and saw.”
It is not yet known where the meteor landed, but it is thought the object may have hit ground somewhere in the Croydon area.