Jed Garkut was in the right place at the right time when he captured a spectacular photograph of a bright light in the sky as it passed over the south coast on Thursday night.
The Sydney Observatory received dozens of reports of a UFO, meteor and bright moving object in the sky from Tasmania and right along the east coast of New South Wales.
A university student and keen photographer, Jed was near his home in Bawley Point when he saw the bright object passing to the north at about 9.45pm.
He captured the incredible image which shows the light passing along the Bawley coastline, with Pigeon House Mountain in the background.
“The meteor was stunning,” he said.
“The whole tail consisted of amazing red flames.
“It was moving really slow compared to shooting stars and took a minute to get across the sky.
“Then just after this photo the flames turned green and the meteor disappeared.”
Jed, whose parents own the Bawley Bakery, said he loves taking photos of the night sky and it was “a bit of my passion”.
According to the Sydney Observatory website, some reports indicated that the object was seen for ten seconds or more which is exceptionally long for a meteor sighting and others indicated a slower speed than they had seen in previous meteor sightings.
A tail was reported by many people which this is a dust trail or train left behind by the object as it moves through the atmosphere.
At first experts believed the object was likely to be a piece of an asteroid or space rock, called a bolide or a fireball, hitting the Earth’s atmosphere, moving almost parallel to the Earth’s surface along the above path.
However on Friday, the observatory stated the object was the third-stage rocket that helped to take Russia’s second Meteor-M weather satellite into orbit on July 8, 2014.
This was a massive metal object and there have been reports of a sonic boom heard near Cobar about 600 kilometres west of Sydney suggesting that the rocket disintegrated in that vicinity.
If metal debris from the rocket is found in the vicinity of Cobar that would be proof of the location of the rocket’s break up.