KEY POINTS

  • A fireball event occurred in Australia
  • An eyewitness captured a video of the fireball
  • Experts believe the fireball was not caused by space debris

An eyewitness in Australia was able to capture an incredibly clear and close-up video of a bright fireball streaking across the sky. Based on the appearance of the fireball, it was most likely a natural cosmic object than a piece of space debris.

The fireball event was reported by eyewitnesses through the American Meteor Society’s (AMS) website. According to the site, the incident occurred on June 15 at 12:45 a.m. Australia time or June 14 at 12:45 p.m. EDT.

In total, three eyewitnesses filed reports about the fireball incident through AMS. According to their reports, the fireball appeared in the sky for a long time. They indicated that the object was visible for about 20 seconds before it disappeared.

A video captured by an eyewitness named Darren B. from Mardie, Australia showed the fiery object as it flew right above him. In the clip, the object appeared with a bright greenish glow and maintained a visible trail of smoke as it streaked across the sky.

The sudden appearance of the fireball sparked a debate on social media, with some people stating that it was most likely caused by a piece of space debris that fell to Earth. They believe that the object may have come from a recent rocket launch.

However, according to Renae Sayers of the Curtin University’s Space, Science and Technology Center in Australia, the fireball was most likely not caused by space junk based on its appearance.

According to Sayers, fireballs caused by space debris look very different than those made by natural cosmic objects such as meteors.

“What we tend to see, when objects like space debris, or if it's a satellite burning up, what we tend to see is sort of like crackles and sparks,” he told ABC News. This is due to the fact that there is stuff burning up — so you've got solar panels going all over the place, you've got hunks of metal moving around as it's burning up through our atmosphere.”

Although it is not yet clear what the exact nature of the object was, most experts believe that it was a meteor that burned up after entering Earth’s atmosphere.

Meteor A meteor entered the Earth's atmosphere and shattered over Bering Sea in December 2018. Pictured: This image taken with a meteorite tracking device developed by George Varros, shows a meteorite as it enters Earth's atmosphere during the Leonid meteor shower November 19, 2002. Photo: Getty Images/George Varros and Dr. Peter Jenniskens/NASA