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Very bright fireball explodes over northern Queensland, Australia

queensland fireball may 20 2023 f2

A very bright fireball exploded over northern Queensland, Australia at around 11:24 UTC (21:24 LT) on May 20, 2023, producing a loud sonic boom.

The International Meteor Organization (IMO) received only 6 reports but hundreds of people witnessed the event and reported on social media. Brad Tucker from the Australian National University (ANU) said there are reliable sightings as far south as Mackay up to Cairns to the west.

Tucker estimated the meteor was between 0.5 and 1 m (1.6 – 3.3 feet) in size.

According to the preliminary trajectory calculation, the fireball started above Springfield and Mount Surprise and ended somewhere between East Creek, Claraville and Coralie.

Many people captured the moment the green-blue fireball entered the atmosphere until the object disintegrated in a flash of orange-yellow light.

Professor Dr. Paulo De Souza of Griffith University believes it was a common metallic meteorite because of its blue and green coloring.

It’s very likely the meteor broke up into many small fragments. 

A hunt for meteorites is currently in progress, with many believing pieces of the object will be found near the small town of Croydon.

YouTube video

References:

1 Fireball event 2678-2023 – IMO – May 20, 2023

2 Meteor lights up Queensland sky, reports of sightings from Mackay to Cairns – ABC – May 21, 2023

Featured image credit: Cairns Airport (stillshot)

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