KEY POINTS

  • The strange object that flew over Australia Monday night was allegedly a Long March 3B rocket from China
  • It reportedly launched from the Chinese city of Xichang and appeared as a white disc-shaped object in the sky
  • The rocket was launched after Australia, the U.S. and the U.K. announced a new alliance against China

An unidentified object that flew over the Australian states of New South Wales and Queensland Monday was allegedly a space rocket launched by China.

The object, identified as a Long March 3B rocket, reportedly launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in China at around 6:20 p.m. Monday, according to The Daily Telegraph.

Sightings of the rocket, which appeared as a white disc-shaped object that crossed the night sky, prompted many to share photos and clips of it on social media.

Footage of the Long March 3B spotted by residents in Sydney, the Central Coast and Dubbo showed a plume coming out behind it, as per 7News.com.au.

"China launched a Long March 3B around that time. We might have seen the plume from it," astrophysicist Brad Tucker wrote on Twitter.

"The plume is like exhaust, gas coming out during launch of the rocket. Sometimes if it happens in the evening, you can see the stranger shape and sight" he explained.

The rocket is rumored to be part of a new generation of navigation satellites that broadcast in 4K and 8K resolutions.

The launch occurred after Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom announced a new security partnership to strengthen military capabilities against China, but Tucker claimed the timing was not unusual.

"Sightings like this can be rare and surprising — given their weird shape and [the] way they move in the sky. However, as more rocket launches happen — this was actually China’s second launch of the day, they are becoming more and more common," Tucker said.

China has been periodically launching rockets as part of an initiative to construct a new space station.

In similar news, North Korea fired an unidentified object into the sea off its coast Tuesday.

The object was fired from the northest province of Jagang, according to South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff.

A Japanese defense ministry spokesman claimed it "appeared to be a ballistic missile."

"Nobody can deny the right to self-defense for [North Korea]," Pyongyang's United Nation's ambassador, Kim Song, said at the UN General Assembly in New York.

The launch came days after North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's sister, Kim Yo-jong, said South Korean President Moon Jae-in's proposal to declare a formal end to the Korean War an "admirable idea." She added that the North was willing to discuss improving inter-Korea relations if the South were to cease its hostility toward the North.

satellite-1030779_1920 Representation. The UFO that flew across the night sky Monday was allegedly a Chinese Long March 3B rocket. Photo: Pixabay