Meteor blazing across sky an amazing sight in Gladstone
MULTIPLE reports are coming in of a huge fire ball that passed over the Gladstone region on Wednesday last night.
Facebook is alive with comments from people along the coast of Queensland who saw the flaming ball of fire.
The meteor was seen from Sydney to Rockhampton. Sightings have been reported in Toowoomba, the Sunshine Coast, Bundaberg and Maryborough.
People have reported that the amazing sight seemed very close, and it looked like a "huge star with lots of little stars behind it".
The meteor blazed across the sky at around 7.50pm-8pm heading in a south-west direction, with reports of it breaking into four pieces before fizzling out.
Astronomy lecturer David Reneke said the impressive night sky show was most likely a fireball, which is a meteor on fire.
Mr Reneke said the burning meteor was probably no bigger than a basketball, travelling through the sky at 30km to 40km a second.
"To people who saw it, it probably looked a lot closer but it was most likely to be 40km to 50km above - which is why so many people across the state saw it," he said.
Mr Reneke said while fireballs were less common than meteors, both were normal occurrences which happened throughout the year as Earth moved through a ring of debris, the remnants of comets from a long time ago.
"Fireballs move a bit slower than meteors," he said.
"And there is usually a lot more colour associated with fireballs. They are as hot as rocks coming out of a volcano - so hot that they break up."
Mr Reneke stressed Wednesday's nights display was in no way associated with Comet ISON.
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