Victorians have been treated to a celestial surprise as they celebrated Valentine’s Day in lockdown on Sunday night, with a brilliant flash as a meteor exploded overhead.
The naturally occurring “fireworks” were captured by star gazers and posted to social media, with the astrological society confirming the explosion of light was indeed a meteor.
One astronomy enthusiast captured this astounding moment, about 10.40pm on Sunday, with a view of Melbourne’s night lights as the meteor falls and explodes over the city.
ABC’s Nate Byrne described the actual meteor as being the size of a “marble”.
“The Victorian astronomical society confirmed it was a bit of a space rock. It wouldn’t have been any bigger than the size of a marble,” Byrne said.
“It’s rapidly – because of all the friction, it’s rapidly turning from rock into gas and expanding really, really quickly.”
He said “colourful” language limited his ability to share some of the best comments around social media about the spectacle, but “some people said it looked like an incredibly large firework.”
In response to the footage, one Twitter user said he thought he was “imagining things” on Sunday night when the sky lit up.
Another video showed the view from Korrumburra in Gippsland, with a spectator capturing this amazing night vision over their sheds.
The Mount Burnett Observatory in the Dandenongs in outer eastern Melbourne said the meteor was known as a “bolide”.
Others reported seeing the event from Avoca in the Central Highlands, with one Facebook user commenting, “caught the bright orange flash part. Was freaky to see…”
People also spotted the show from Bairnsdale in East Gippsland.
One person from Rowville commented: “I thought it was a helicopter spotlight for a second it was so bright! Then it fell quickly, turned into a big orange ball and then lit up the skyline orange!”
Another, from Clayton, said it looked like a “bright fire ball”.
Momentary power outages in the Yarra Valley followed the spectacular display.