Meteor explosion wows community

MANY of us heard the loud rumble, and some were even lucky enough to see something in the sky, but simply everyone is talking about the supposed meteor that exploded over the Tombong area last Tuesday afternoon.

A huge number of locals report having heard a loud unexplained “thundering” noise on Tuesday at around 2pm, while others tell of seeing a light falling through the sky at around the same time.

No one got quite as close as local Country Energy worker, David Turnbull, however, who was at Craigie Range, preparing to climb a power pole to make repairs.

David says it was a calm quiet day, when he suddenly noticed a light in the sky, which started travelling straight towards him in an east to west direction from Mount Wog.

He knew the bright object was travelling far too quickly to be an aircraft, and he watched in astonishment for over 20 seconds as it flew over the top of him, making a loud hissing or “swooshing” sound.

He said the initially bright object dulled and broke up into four or five pieces over Delegate, with a huge roar to be heard.

“Everything shook,” he said. “I’ve never been in an earthquake, but it was that kind of a thing.”

David laments the fact that he had no phone or camera to record the event, and can’t believe that no one else has reported seeing the object so clearly.

Of course word spread quickly that a meteor had exploded within the local area, and the Bombala Times contacted the Sydney Observatory to try and confirm that this was indeed the case.

Astronomy Curator, Dr Nick Lomb was quick in his response, confirming that two reports had been registered on the Sydney Observatory ‘Lights in the Sky’ blog page that most likely related to the occurrence.

The reports, from Moruya and from the Bermagui River, tell of sightings of a daytime meteor between 1.50pm and 2pm on the Tuesday.

The first reads, “my wife and I were fishing in the Bermagui River and we observed what appeared to be a meteorite travelling from south east to northwest. We saw a ball followed by a very bright slender light. As it descended at about 45 degrees, the tail sparkled like fireworks and the object then became invisible”.

The second, from Moruya, stated, “this afternoon saw what looked like a comet? or shooting star? was really bright white/blue in colour, I saw for approx 3 – 5 seconds then it split into 2 and disappeared. Was very pretty, am guessing it was probably a meteor? Sky was very clear and it was heading in a south – south westerly direction. just wondering if anyone else saw the same thing?”

The Bombala Times asked Dr Lomb if he could confirm from these reports, and our own, that the local rumours of a meteor exploding over Tombong were correct.

“A meteor bright enough to be seen during the day may well be sufficiently large to survive the journey through the atmosphere and become a meteorite on the ground,” Dr Lomb replied.

“However, unless it was seen to land we are unlikely to ever find out.”

He encourages anyone who saw or heard anything on Tuesday afternoon to put in a report on the Lights in the Sky page at www.sydneyobservatory.com.au/blog/?page_id=342.

“In that way a record is kept and if anyone finds a meteorite or a small crater in the area in the future it may be possible to link it to this event,” he said.

The Bombala Times would also love to hear from anyone who has a story to tell about the possible meteor on the Tuesday afternoon, with those who saw the object encouraged to get in touch on with us on 6458 3666, as well as writing in to www.sydneyobservatory.com.au/blog/?page_id=342.

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