Claire Fletcher captured this light over Gympie on Thursday evening.
Claire Fletcher captured this light over Gympie on Thursday evening.

Strange light over Gympie not Halley's tail, expert says

UPDATE FRIDAY: 

MORE sightings of another light in the sky over Gympie on Thursday evening have had people guessing again about what is falling from the sky over our region. 

The light, which Claire Fletcher captured over Gympie at 5.15pm on Thursday (pictured above), fits into the same boat as the one observed over Gympie last Saturday.

Yandina astronomer Owen Bennedick said if the image was large enough to be photographed on a mobile phone it is too big to be a part of the meteorite shower from the tail of Halley's Comet, which we are expected to see some of. 

He said anything that large is likely to be a piece of space junk from a spent satellite or rocket.

 

UPDATE:

WAPPA Falls Astronomical Observatory owner Owen Bennedick has debunked the idea that the strange light soaring through the Gympie sky on the weekend was part of the Halley's Comet meteorite shower.

The Yandina astronomer said the light, which was captured by Bundaberg resident Charlotte Meerman on her mobile phone as she passed through Gympie, was too big to be part of a meteorite shower. 

He said the light, which appeared in the sky around 5.30pm on Saturday, was either a sporadic meteoroite, which he described as debris and junk floating around the solar system, or a piece of space junk from a spent satellite or rocket.

He explained that a comet's tail was so fine and thin, they were not even visible with a radar, let alone the naked eye. 

"The only time we know we're going through the tail of a comet is when we have a meteorite shower," Mr Bennedick said.  

He explained while the comet's tail can not be seen, the meteorites could be as they enter the earth's atmosphere at 40 -70 km per second, burning up at at 5000 - 9000 degrees.

But he explained that the 'strange light' on Saturday, if captured on a mobile phone, was definitely too big not to be part of a shower. 

He said the Earth is constantly passing through debris from comets and, theoretically, at the moment there are 40 meteorites falling to Earth an hour, where there can be anywhere up to a couple of hundred per hour or as few as three per hour. 

 

EARLIER:

A BUNDABERG resident who was passing through Gympie on Saturday evening saw a strange light in the sky around 5.30pm that resembled a comet.

Charlotte Meerman, who captured the image on her mobile phone, is curious to see if anyone else caught a glimpse of the "strange light."

"We saw a strange light around 5:30 pm (Saturday) near Gympie while we were driving from Brisbane to Bundaberg yesterday," MsMeerman said. 

"It was moving quite slow and had a tail of light behind it.

"We live in Bundaberg and are curious to find out if anyone else reported it."

Let The Gympie Times know if you saw the "strange light" on the weekend. 

 

Have you ever seen a strange light in the sky?

This poll ended on 13 May 2016.

Current Results

Yes, it was unexplained

63%

Yes, but there was a reasonable explanation for it

13%

No

23%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

 

A Bundaberg resident captured this
A Bundaberg resident captured this "strange light" over Gympie on Saturday.
Gympie Times


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