Curious Sighting of Fireball in the Skies of Australia Leaves Scientists Busy to Explain Phenomenon

A mysterious fireball was noticed in Australia but scientists don't have any clue about what caused the astronomical phenomenon

In the early hours of Monday morning, an Australian at the Yandi Mine resident noticed a curious light streaking through the sky. Other witnesses of this mysterious phenomenon also noticed an unknown flaming ball of greenish-blue light shooti8ng across the night.

One of the eyewitnesses said, "It went for ages, super slow," and explained the scene as an unbelievable incident. The same phenomenon was noticed by a rope access technician at Nelson Point in Port Headland, Mitch Brune, who filmed the incident using his mobile camera.

As per ScienceAlert, he said, "I was amazed at what I was seeing and how it lit up the sky in such a bright green glow; never in my life have I seen anything like it! Which you can tell from all the swear words in my video."

A local police station of Karratha Police also noticed the blue light in the night sky and then took it to Twitter stating, "When you come across a meteor whilst on burglary patrols."

What Has Caused the Sighting in Australia?

While there is no explanation given so far, the Desert Fireball Network that has 50 cameras covering about three million square kilometers in the sky from West to South Australia to capture the image of all shooting stars and meteoroids entering the atmosphere, was able to capture the image. Eleanor Sansom, the project manager of the Desert Fireball Network and her team confirmed the image of the fireball emerging from the skies.

In 2017, the Network caught a meteorite grazing the atmosphere above Australia before being kicked out once again into space. But the recent fire ball, noticed in the night sky, fell outside the network's range. So, the team could not manage to gather the data, which means astronomers are not sure if this incredible sighting was a meteorite burning up in our atmosphere or not, but there is a reason to suspect that it might be one.

As per ABC, some people speculated the incident as a space junk falling into the earth, but that scenario is less likely, say experts. Astronomer Renae Sayers of Curtin University explained that judging by the videos, this fireball was most likely a natural object.

She explained that when any alien material enters the atmosphere, it tends to trail sparkling debris, as chunks of metal get thrown around and set on fire. In terms of meteorites, these are denser and appear to glide right through, as noticed in the recent fireball sightings.

Both the experts, Sansom and Sayers agreed that this particular fireball looks a lot like the one that popped in and out of earth's atmosphere almost a year ago, which means it might not have even made its way to the earth.

As per The West Australian, Matt Woods from the Perth Observatory explained that the greenish-blue color was probably occurring due to burnt magnesium, while Glen Nagle, at the CSIRO-NASA tracking station in Canberra, told ABC that the color suggested a high level of iron.

A video of such incidents is not enough to reveal details about such sightings, said Sansom adding that almost 95 percent of the light, captured in the footage, is nothing but the atmospheric burning. So, in such cases, it is hard to get any clues on the composition of the space rock. Sansom explained that the only thing the color can really tell us is how high it is flying. "A lot of our fireballs will turn green and then kind of turn more orangey as they get deeper," she said.

The object was probably the size of a basketball to a washing machine, but not more than that. It might have burned up completely in the atmosphere, or it could have gone back into space or may have fallen to the earth, she added.

Sansom told ScienceAlert, "I would be very surprised if there wasn't a meteorite dropping," although she noted that it probably had enough speed to jump back out into space again.

Related topics : Space Asteroid