Saturday, July 8, 2017

Brilliant fireball over South Australia - 30 June 2017

At about 2356hrs local time (UTC plus 9.5hrs) on 30 June 2017,  a brilliant fireball (meteor) exploded over South Australia. Some Facebook sites are claiming it was a UFO.

Media reports

It was initially reported in the Adelaide media as having been observed from a number of Adelaide suburbs, and also in other places in South Australia. It was visible to the north-west.

Later media reports, indicated that it had been seen from places as far apart as Tanunda, and Riverton, in the mid-north of South Australia, and also across the Eyre peninsula, from locations which included Elliston; Port Lincoln; Whyalla and Streaky Bay. The Port Lincoln Times of 3 July 2017 carried this account which included security camera footage.


On the Eyre Peninsula, it was described as lighting up the night sky as if it were daylight. In colour it was said to have been an 'orange fireball.'

At Streaky Bay, resident Luke Sidler reported 'hearing a hissing sound' which seems to me, to fit in with  this being an electrophonic sound. Other residents stated that the duration of the event was only a few seconds; and that a few minutes after it had disappeared there were 'thunder-like' rumbling sounds heard, which would indicate a sonic boom.

Interestingly, Luke Sidler is also quoted as saying that he felt 'an impact,' 'it moved us off our deck chairs' and that one of his children in a campervan fell out of bed.

Other residents on the Eyre Peninsula reported that windows rattled, and shook.

Teresa Gameau of Koppio Hills reportedly said 'we could smell what smelled like burning sparklers.'

A camera belonging to the Desert Fireball Network, located at Mt. Ives, south of Lake Gairdner, South Australia captured an image of the fireball.  The fireball was also captured on a number of dash cams and home security cameras. 

Fireball over the eastern states

This South Australian fireball in June 2017, follows another very bright meteor seen over North Eastern New South Wales, and South-Eastern Queensland, around 1800hrs local time (UTC +10hrs) on 16 April 2017. As with the South Australian fireball, this 16 April eastern states fireball is reported to have caused sonic booms and vibrated houses.

Both fireball meteors led to much ill informed speculation on Facebook pages about them being UFOs.

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