Meteoric display lights up night sky
A STREAK of bright light has sparked meteor excitement on the Sunshine Coast.
Nambour couple Ted and Libby Diefenbach were among those who had their eyes skyward when the flash caught their attention about 8pm yesterday.
Mrs Diefenbach was driving home from Alexandra Headland when she saw something as they were travelling through Bli Bli.
"It was just out of the corner of my eye," Mrs Diefenbach said.
"I just saw this big bright light in the sky and I said to Ted 'oh my gosh, look at that'."
She said it was moving "super quick" and had a long, green tail.
It appeared to be about 200m from the ground, travelling north.
The impressive spectacle only lasted a few seconds.
"It was like somebody switched a light off," Mrs Diefenbach said.
Mr Diefenbach said its trajectory made it seem likely it was heading for the Mt Coolum area.
However, other witnesses thought it was bound for the Caloundra area.
There were also reports of blue and red colours coming from the fireball.
"It was super-intense and then it was gone," Mr Diefenbach said.
The Diefenbachs took their son Brock for a climb up Mt Coolum today but they were there for the exercise rather than the possible space remnants.
Meanwhile, Bachelor of Geology student Deanna Houston kept her eyes peeled for a crater on Mt Coolum after learning of the sighting today.
She hadn't climbed to the summit in search of a meteorite but said it would be a dream to find a space rock.
"It would be going in a glass box (as a) prized possession - keyed and coded," Miss Houston said.
"I would definitely have a look for it but who knows where it would be."
Owen Bennedick, from Wappa Falls Observatory, said his phone didn't stop ringing yesterday as people called him for information on the light show.
Mr Bennedick said it was unlikely the object had fallen in a populated area like Mt Coolum because people would have heard a large sound and had remnants fall on their houses.
"I suggest it would have been quite a few kilometres away," Mr Bennedick said.
Astronomer Dr Brad Tucker, from Mt Stromlo Observatory in Canberra, said between 100 and 200 tonnes of space debris fell towards Earth every day.
"A lot of it burns up," Dr Tucker said.
"A lot of it happens over places where no one is going to witness it."
He said it sounded like the meteor had burned up.
"If it landed you would know about it."
Meteoroid - the rock when it is in space
Meteor - the burning process in the Earth's atmosphere
Meteorite - the fragment landed on the Earth