Night workers have captured a stunning green light zooming across the evening sky in Australia.
The mysterious fireball was seen by residents in Western Australia, Northern Territory and South Australia on Monday morning just before 1.00am.
Video taken by local residents in Port Hedland shows the green glow, clearly visible from the sky, streaking through the clouds in a ball shape with a huge long tail.
Astronomy enthusiasts were fascinated by the sighting, while some suggested it could be the remains from a recent rocket launch.
Renae Sayers, from Curtin University’s Space, Science and Technology Centre, watched the clip and believed it was something of a natural object.
She told ABC News: “It’s a ball of green … what you are seeing is a giant flash of light, it’s almost like a ball with this gorgeous long tail.
“What we tend to see, when objects like space debris, or if it’s a satellite burning up, what we tend to see is sort of like crackles and sparks.
“This is due to the fact that there is stuff burning up — so you’ve got solar panels going all over the place, you’ve got hunks of metal moving around as it’s burning up through our atmosphere.
“[But] this is quite a clean shot — it was quite a strong line, we didn’t see too much fragmentation.”
She discussed with her colleagues and concluded that “the jury is still out” because it could be space debris, or it could be a grazing fireball encounter.
Astronomers mostly believe it was Asteroid 2002 NN4, which was scheduled to pass Earth at about 11.20pm (2.20pm BST) yesterday.
The asteroid is estimated to be the size of six football fields, with a rough diameter of up to 570 metres, according to the Centre for Near Earth Object Studies.
Glen Nagle, from the CSIRO-NASA tracking station in Canberra, also reviewed the footage and said the green-bluish colour indicated the object had a lot of iron in it.
“Every single day, our Earth’s atmosphere is hit by about 100 tonnes of natural space debris,” he said.
“Most of it is falling over unpopulated areas, or over oceans, and during the day when you are not going to actually see them.
“Most of them are quite small pieces but they do look very spectacular in the sky.”