Meteor Over NZ
Kiwis and Australians witnessed a short but stunning light show as a meteor burnt up in the atmosphere just after midnight.
Kiwis and Australians witnessed a short but stunning light show in our skies this morning as a meteor burnt up in the atmosphere just after midnight.

At around 12.25am Northlanders were woken to a flight of light, a deep rumbling and a flash of colour flying off the burning meteor.

Locals took to social media to describe what they saw and heard, with many revealing they thought it was a supersonic aircraft.

"It was a meteor. I saw it really close overhead at Oromahoe shortly after midnight. I could see green, yellow, orange flames coming off the rock as it burnt up," described one Northlander.

"It was very close and incredibly bright and afterwards there was a long rumbling sound. It was certainly bright enough to be seen at Paihia and Kaikohe."

Another described the glowing meteor like the ending of a firework in the sky.

"I saw it driving north just south of Mangamuka - brilliant bright white light bursting out of the darkness and then a falling showing of flames and sparks as it fell - awesome."

Others said the rumbling was so loud it woke up animals.

"I heard and felt that up at Kerikeri. The sound was travelling north and woke the neighbourhood critters. There was a massive flash."

Meteor Over NZ
Suddenly a flash of light lit up the night sky across New Zealand and Australia.
For some, windows shook.

"I heard the rumble and a big bang. The windows shook. it sounded like a supersonic aircraft."

Another added: "We are in Cable Bay, the light travelled north and shortly afterwards there was a low rumbling noise that lasted a good 30 seconds. spooky! perhaps E.T has come back for round 2?"

Weatherwatch confirmed to the Herald they had had a large spike in reported meteor sightings, explaining it is rare to see a meteor across both New Zealand and Australia at the same time.

A Weatherwatch spokesperson says while they don't yet know a lot about last night's meteor, he believes it must have coming in on a slow burn or low angle of attack, skimming across a long distance of the atmosphere in seconds and seen by Australians and New Zealanders.

Australians also reported seeing the meteor light up their skies, with NSW and Victorian residents noticing a large flash around 10.20pm, the same time (12.20am NZT) Kiwis spotted it in New Zealand.

Experts from Australia described the meteor as a "fireball".

"It's pretty obvious that it's a meteor," astronomer David Findlay from the Australia Meteor Report group said.

"It's a small asteroid that's created this and has started to vaporise over the skies of South Australia.

"From every indication so far, the bits of dashcam footage coming, and importantly, the reports of a sonic boom, all those are evidence that lead us to believe that this may have survived to the ground."

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