Burning meteor flashes across sky over Wellington, New Zealand

Witnesses describe blue-orange light, booming noise

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Representational image
Representational image

By Reuters

Published: Thu 7 Jul 2022, 9:54 AM

A burning meteor flashed across the sky over the New Zealand capital of Wellington on Thursday, with dozens of witnesses saying they saw a bright light and heard a boom as the fireball passed.

Weather forecaster MetService said on Twitter its radar had picked up a possible smoke trail of the meteor and geological agency GeoNet said it believed its seismometer had detected its sound waves at around 1.50pm (0150 GMT).

Mike Cousins was working from home near Wellington when the room lit up with a blue-orange hue.

"I ran outside and saw the trail of it and then there was this low rumble, just like at the start of an earthquake," Cousins told Reuters.


Alan Gilmore, an astronomer at Canterbury University's Mount John Observatory, told Reuters that a bright meteor coming down through the atmosphere very fast was a rare occurrence over an urban area.

"This was glowing very brightly so it must have been quite a big object," said Gilmore. The boom that people heard indicated the meteor had come within 60 km (37 miles) of earth, he said.

There were no reports of the meteor hitting the ground or ocean and no debris from it had been found.

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