Meteor Lights up Australia... Nov 29, 2006 0:32:55 GMT -6
Post by Chicago Astronomer Joe on Nov 29, 2006 0:32:55 GMT -6
Fiery green intruder from space alarms Australians
A fiery green intruder from outer space sparked widespread alarm among bewildered skygazers who witnessed it burning up over Australia, authorities have said.
Residents of the states of South Australia and Victoria Monday night deluged police and media with accounts of a green-coloured fireball hurtling westward through the evening sky.
In Victoria, concerned callers to a radio station reported they had spotted an unidentified flying object bright enough to be visible at sunset, with one guessing it was a comet.
"It was green like a meteorite or shooting star," a caller named Jeff told ABC Radio around 8:30pm.
"It was really pretty bright and you could see something else coming down as well, but what it was I don't know," he concluded.
The extraterrestrial inferno left a trail of debris through the twilight sky, according to another witness, Monty, from the town of Kaniva, near the South Australian border.
"The trail hung in the sky for at least 15 minutes afterward like a jet stream," he said.
Meanwhile Brian, a farmer from Bendigo in Victoria, said he and his wife, who were outside at the time, believed they may have witnessed the object's earthly demise.
"We looked up and there was a green comet-like thing dropping out of the western sky," he said.
"It dropped over the trees at the back of our property and it was making a tail as it went down."
The apparition, which meteorologists later identified as a meteor, came in the wake of spectacular meteor showers earlier in the month, produced as the earth passed through the tail of the comet Tempel-Tuttle, astronomers said.