A bright fireball has been spotted flying across New Zealand’s skies; with reports suggesting that the phenomenon occurred about 9 p.m. local time [8 a.m. GMT] on Saturday.
There’s been much speculation about what the object was, with people wondering whether it was space junk, a meteor, or even a satellite…
😲😲😲 Seen earlier over New Zealand!— Thomas Stuckey-Mounter (@tsmounter) 5 January 2019
Either space junk, satellite or a meteor. A sonic boom was heard in Auckland and other places. Amazing! 🛰️🌠#meteor #newzealand #satellite #spacejunk #sonicboom https://t.co/i6W6RFba7K
Was casuallyfilming at the end of the beach and suddenly a bright light rose above the horizon it then started breaking into flames #meteor #meteornz #newzealand @1NewsNZ @nzherald @NewshubNZ @NewshubBreaking @NewshubFeatures pic.twitter.com/T3kmAkKD4U— MBH Films (@MBHFilms) 5 January 2019
We saw it too an object streaking across the sky. Bright white light with a vapor or smoke trail traveling roughly north south. It appeared to be breaking up with bits falling off and burning up. A minute or two later there was a boom in the distance. #spacejunk. #meteor— Paul Connell (@PaulConnellnz) 5 January 2019
IMO that is not a meteor shower. I believe it is more likely to be something that has either been blown up or exploded in space.— Diane Brown (@dbalexbrowns) 5 January 2019
While many alleged that it was a meteor and said that they had heard a loud bang…
TWEET: “WTF, yesterday a meteorite passed above us, A METEORITE. We heard a boom 5 minutes later, 350 km away from that place, I’m still shocked”.
WTF— Inès. (@InesKha_) 6 January 2019
Hier une météorite est passé au dessus de nous, UNE MÉTÉORITE 😱
On a entendu le BOUM 5 min plus tard, 350km plus loin je suis choquée encore #Meteor #NewZealand #Coromandel pic.twitter.com/gHXSwHktsU
…others said it could be the remains of the out-of-control Russian satellite, Kosmos 2430.
This is almost certainly the reentry of Kosmos 2430, a defunct Russian Early Warning satellite. Time and position match (I understand from news items that the event was near 9 pm local time = 8 am GMT): pic.twitter.com/DYi1NNCi0X— Dr Marco Langbroek (@Marco_Langbroek) 5 January 2019
Here’s the SatFlare page for COSMOS 2430, indicating a de-orbit at around the same time as the metor was seen. Observations (particularly the angle of the smoke trail over eastern Coromandel) were a bit off the predicted tracks, but does seem to check out. pic.twitter.com/epesRnJdYI— Mark Rickerby (@maetl) 5 January 2019