WHAT WAS THAT? Owen Bennedick, of Wappa Falls Observatory, was inundated with calls after Gladstone's light display.
WHAT WAS THAT? Owen Bennedick, of Wappa Falls Observatory, was inundated with calls after Gladstone's light display. John McCutcheon

'Sonic boom' puzzles meteor chasers: Here's their thoughts so far

EXPERTS across Australia worked and fielded calls yesterday to pin down the reason a sky event sent a sonic boom throughout the region.

The state's largest private observatory, Wappa Falls, fielded more than 100 calls from residents who saw, felt or heard something they could not understand.

THE LATEST:

>>LISTEN: 'Fireball meteor' near Gladstone 'larger than usual'

>>EXPERT: Last night's asteroid could be first in a group

>>'Biggest meteor in years' crashes near Gladstone

>> Experts take hundreds of calls for 'sonic boom': Here's their thoughts

And he said the event, which had homes trembling, explosions heard and a beaming lights seen at 8.33pm in the Gladstone region -was not the only one in the country. At 2am Mr Bennedick received a call from an airline pilot who spotted a flying object at Buderim.

UFO independent researcher Kay McCullock said she received reports of a meteorite sighting at Woodford and a UFO at Melbourne late on Monday night.

Mr Bennedick expected the sightings in Gladstone were from a near earth asteroid about three to five metres in diameter.

The former Gladstone resident said we could see more, too, with NEAs typically travelling in groups.

"We've heard that it sounded like someone was pounding on their walls or doors," Mr Bennedick said.

At 6pm he said, "every cat and dog on the planet has called me about this today", and he was still unable to pin point where the asteroid landed.

The Bureau of Meteorology reported no minor tsunamis or wave action on its buoys, which lead Mr Bennedick and other experts to believe it did not land in the ocean.

"But just the fact that no one has seen any physical damage makes me think it did explode out at sea," he said.

"There's no trees, buildings or cars damaged," he said.

"Considering it's in an area the size of Gladstone it's strange that no one has noticed damage.

He said if it did explode at sea the pieces of the asteroid could have been so small that they would not have recorded a high wave impact.

 

 

Ms McCullock was reluctant to investigate the Gladstone sighting at first, but she was intrigued when she realised it was not a sole event.

She said central Queensland was a "hot spot" for sky activity, including meteorites and UFOs.

"It looks like we have two separate situations going on and I suspect one (in Queensland) was from a meteorite shower," she said.

"What can have a big affect if a place is a hot spot is the indigenous connection, the land geography and if there's lots of power plants or mining."

One of Australia's leading professors in astrophysics has said that a "fireball meteor" penetrated Earth's atmosphere, coming near Gladstone on Monday night.

WATCH: Video footage of the beaming light:

 

 

Professor Michael Drinkwater said the fireball was "larger than usual" as people reported hearing sounds and vibrations, which wasnot usually the case.

"This one would have been larger than usual if people heard sounds or vibrations as has been reported," Prof Drinkwater said.

"Meteors typically are only visible when they are still very high, 50 to 120km in altitude.

"It's well above the speed of sounds, so it will create a powerful super sonic boom or shockwaves."



Police hunt two suspects after carjacking attempt

Police hunt two suspects after carjacking attempt

The men were fought off at a South Gladstone intersection.

Trafficker's weapons stash found by Border Force in raid

Trafficker's weapons stash found by Border Force in raid

Tick sheet reveals trafficker owed almost $100,000 for drugs

Former peacekeeper tells of the campaign that went unnoticed

Former peacekeeper tells of the campaign that went unnoticed

Anzac Day is a day of remembrance but can also be one of discovery.

Local Partners