Spectacular green meteor streaks over South Coast

A screen grab of Today's news report on the meteor, showing dashcam footage taken over Sydney.
A screen grab of Today's news report on the meteor, showing dashcam footage taken over Sydney.

A chunk of space rock fell to earth in spectacular fashion on Saturday night, prompting calls for videos and observations to help pinpoint its resting place.

Reports from across NSW and Victoria spoke of a green fireball low in the sky around 6.30pm, and travelling slowly and brightly enough to be clearly seen by many.

David Finlay is a keen observer of astronomical events, and administrator of the Australian Meteor Reports Facebook group.

He said he was “extremely confident” given the various reports coming in that Saturday’s meteor had survived the entry to Earth’s atmosphere.

“The best observation we have is from Phil at Tuross Heads, who watched it go pretty much right over his head,” Mr Finlay said on Monday.

“It not only confirmed it crossed the coastline, but an important observation he made was to say he saw it change from bright green, to bright orange, to a dull red before disappearing.”

Mr Finlay said that was the perfect description of a meteor entering “dark flight” – when a meteor was travelling through the denser atmosphere slow enough to allow it to cool down and giving it a great chance of surviving to hit the ground.

As for where it landed?

“We first thought somewhere in the Cooma region, but with some new observations we’re thinking a bit further north, perhaps between Michelago and Bredbo,” Mr Finlay said.

“We’re really hoping it crossed over the Deua National Park – it’s rough country so if it landed in there it’s going to be nearly impossible to find.

“We really need more footage of it, dashcam footage, security cameras, police cars that have cameras running all the time – the more we have, and preferably from outside Sydney, the better chance we have to triangulate its position.”

Anyone with observations or footage of Saturday’s event can post it to Australian Meteor Reports on Facebook where Mr Finlay and his team can collate it all.

Posted by Jordan Penman
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