Meteorite in Bundy's skies at least as big as a basketball

PEOPLE all over Bundaberg and a good lot of Queensland reported seeing a meteorite in the night's skies around 8.25pm Monday night. 

Alloway Observatory's Lonnie Smilas said based on eyewitness accounts, it sounded as though the meteorite had to be at least the size of a basketball. 

"It sounds like it would have had to have been basketball size if not bigger," he said. 

"It would have made it to the ground."

Mr Smilas said even cosmic dust particles could cause lights in the sky, so for the meteorite to light up so much of the sky, it had to be a good size. 

A screen grab of CCTV footage showing the bright light from the meteorite's boom.
A screen grab of CCTV footage showing the bright light from the meteorite's boom.

"Ones that are so bright like that generally do make it to the ground," he said. 

A loud bang was heard through the Gladstone region, with Bundaberg people reporting hearing loud noises around 3am Tuesday morning. 

Mr Smilas said loud noises were often heard in association with meteorites as they broke the sound barrier. 

"Definitely at about 11,000km/h you've got a sonic boom," he said. 

"You'll definitely get sounds from them.

"It's more than likely it's meteorites, earth tremors also cause booms as well."

At 10.15pm, a magnitude 3.8 earthquake struck off Airlie Beach.

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

In Cannonvale, outside of Airlie, Jolanda Harrison said it felt like "a big truck passed".

Lonnie Smilas, from the Alloway Observatory, is over the moon with their new telescope. Photo: Scottie Simmonds obs1406a
Lonnie Smilas, from the Alloway Observatory, is over the moon with their new telescope. Photo: Scottie Simmonds obs1406a

Mr Smilas said it was possible that more meteorites would have, and could still follow, the big one seen and felt on Monday night. 

"When meteorites come through there's usually more," he said. 

Mr Smilas said some reports stating the meteorite had a green colour would indicate the presence of iron, making it rather rare. 

"Keep looking up," he said.

"It's nice to know how wonderful our skies are."

Renowned Harvard astrophysicist Jonathan McDowell also said the meteorite was most likely a big one - unlike any that have been seen in several years.

His guess was that the rock may have been about a metre across.

Mr McDowell said it would be undetectable until it hit the Earth's atmosphere seconds before we all become a aware of it.

"This sounds like a big one, first in several years that has been that big," he said.

"Except for the ones that come in over the ocean and only get seen by satelities."



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