'Meteor' spotted in NZ sky

TIM DONOGHUE
Last updated 22:08 28/08/2014

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A spectacular low-flying meteor-like object was spotted off the west coast of New Zealand last night. 

Multiple calls were made to police stations throughout the country about 6.30pm about a bright light in the sky, police said.


Did you spot the night sky object? Email us images newstips@stuff.co.nz


"Varying colours were given. Some people said it was white, others said it was green and another person reported it being an unusual blue colour," Sergeant Andy Dow, shift commander from police central communications in Wellington, said. 

He said calls came from Tawa, Paremata, Porirua, Paraparaumu and Paekakariki. 

‘‘There was also a report of a shooting star which came in from Christchurch," Dow said.

Philip Duncan, of WeatherWatch, said it was possible the object could have been space junk burning up.

There were about 100 postings on the WeatherWatch website describing sitings of the "meteor" over New Zealand's western areas from Auckland to Wanaka.

Tony Smith in Parklands, Christchurch, told Stuff: ‘‘I was looking out our lounge window and saw a fireball with tail shoot across the sky.’’ 

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Sightings were also confirmed over the Nelson region. Richmond woman Sharee Dowdall described the object as  a "Very colourful, green, yellow, blue trail and orange head that appeared to 'spark' with an explosion at the end"

Sam Hyde, a resident of Sunshine Avenue in Wellington's western hill suburb of Karori, said he was standing at his kitchen window when he saw a very bright,  spectacular meteorite in the western sky.

"It was a stellar sight. I've only had two beers tonight so it's true. I saw it for five or six seconds. It was certainly something stellar," Hyde said.

Rolf van Dalen said he witnessed the sight while standing on his back doorstep in Johnsonville with flatmate Eric van Kampen. 

Van Dalen said the object appeared to him to come straight down out of the night sky.

"This was big, very big," van Dalen said.

Van Kampen, a 53-year-old self employed gardener agreed. 

"I said what the .... was that? I was outside having a smoke and then whammo. It was a meteorite. It could not have been anything else." 

Jason in Greymouth said he spotted something in the sky about 6.20pm. ‘‘It was a greeny blue colour and appeared to break up into white pieces.’’

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Among readers who contacted Stuff was Carolyn in Mt Pleasant, Christchurch. 

She said: ‘‘It looked like it was flying past my window! A big bright white ball flying through the dusky sky.  I posted on Facebook, thinking it was a Chch occurrance and a friend who lives in Alaska posted that she also saw it!  How awesome is that??!!’’

And Oliver Richardson wrote: ‘‘Saw the meteor shoot across the sky to the North East from Halswell in Christchurch. Not seen anything like it before. Was the same glowing bright green you see in fireworks but with a orange trail. Was very hard to scale and work out position.’’ 




- The Dominion Post

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