Russian Cosmos 2430 early warning satellite, launched 11 years ago, re-entered Earth's atmosphere on January 5, 2018, producing a spectacular show to all New Zealanders lucky enough to witness it.
The object was first seen shortly after 20:58 NZDT (07:58 UTC) and was visible for several minutes.
Witnesses described a bright light followed by a loud rumbling noise. Some described it as a bright double ball, whose streak was visible for about 10 minutes.
Meteor Shower over New Zealand, shot at the end of Hahei beach in the Coromandel (absolutely in awe) @NewshubBreaking @NewshubNZ @nzherald #meteor #meteornz #meteorshower #meteornewzealand #onenews #newshub #onenewsnow #nzherald #newzealand pic.twitter.com/rRl9t2OKlV— MBH Films (@MBHFilms) January 5, 2019
Woah! Live on tv. pic.twitter.com/wrcagX8rGd— Dan News (@dannews) January 5, 2019
Meteor Shower over New Zealand, shot at the end of Hahei beach in the Coromandel (absolutely in awe) @NewshubBreaking @NewshubNZ @nzherald #meteor #meteornz #meteorshower #meteornewzealand #onenews #newshub #onenewsnow #nzherald #newzealand pic.twitter.com/QM5obFrYKZ— MBH Films (@MBHFilms) January 5, 2019
This just passed right over us on Coromandel. Never seen an asteroid burn up like that before. Anyone know what it is? pic.twitter.com/gOV65PAu7n— David Capie (@davidcapie) January 5, 2019
Sweet meteor shower over Gisborne just now pic.twitter.com/IKifknbxIA— Jeff (@peabnuts123) January 5, 2019
Seen over Snells Beach, Warkworth pic.twitter.com/Eirik5Zy2V— Cricket Widow! (@cr1cket_widow) January 5, 2019
While some people still think this was a meteor, the object was actually Russian Cosmos 2430 Missile Early Warning Satellite, re-entering Earth's atmosphere and burning over New Zealand's North Island.
Its decay was predicted for 06:37 UTC ± 2hr on January 5, 2019.
Image credit: Joseph Remish
Featured image credit: MBH Films
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