Flashing light, boom, tremor: What we know so far

A BRIGHT flashing light, boom and tremor were seen and felt in the Gladstone region last night.

Thousands of people took to social media last night with reports of the tremor shaking their house.

>> WATCH: Burning object crashes near Gladstone, lights up sky

>> 'Biggest meteor in years' crashes near Gladstone

Claims the tremor and flashing light were caused by a meteorite have been made by Higgins Storm Chasers and a Harvard University professor.

The boom shocked residents with up to 20 calls made to the police about the tremors and flashing light.

 

 

Harvard astrophysicist Jonathan McDowell said it could be the largest meteor to have hit the state in years.

Here is what has been ruled out:

Earthquake:

Geoscience Australia has since officially ruled out an earthquake. 

However at 10.15pm last night, a Magnitude 3.8 struck off Airline Beach.

>> Meteor and earthquake strike Queensland in one night

>> 'Boom': Tremors felt as 'meteor' crashes in to Gladstone

Across the Whitsundays, and through the suburbs of Mackay, Queenslanders were given a gentle shake.

Plane crash:

Fire crews were sent out to Emerald beach to investigate reports of an aircraft incident, but a spokeswoman for Queensland Fire and Emergency Services said that the crew had since returned after finding nothing.

Chinese space station:

Harvard astrophysicist Jonathan McDowell said it wasn't China's 8.5 tonne "Heavenly Place" space station that came crashing down to Gladstone tonight.

He said the space ship won't "re-enter for another year". 

A satellite tracker has the station situated above Tanzania at 6.45am today.

Weather event

Weather experts at Bureau of Meteorology were at a loss as to what caused the bright light which lit up Queensland skies.

They confirmed last night there "doesn't seem to be a weather related explanation for what has been described in the Gladstone area".

What it could be:

Meteor

A NUMBER of scientists and leading researchers have reached a consensus that it was a meteor.

Despite reports of an "earthquake", descriptions of a "bight light" in the sky suggests that it was an astronomical event.

The debate appears to have shifted to what type of meteor it is, and how big it was.

Fireball meteor

ONE leading Australian scientists believes that the "bright light" reported by Gladstone locals suggests it was a "fireball meteor".

He said the vibrations also reported by residents suggest that it was "much larger than usual", causing a "sonic boom" and "shock waves".

Meteorite

SOME experts are insisting it could be a meteorite, despite a Harvard university professor telling The Observer last night that if it were a meteorite, Queensland would no longer exist after the point of impact.

However, some scientists believe that it could have broken into fragments before hitting the earth's surface, lessening the impact, but still qualifying it as a meteorite.



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