Region shakes as meteor flashes over southeast Queensland
A Brisbane man has found himself in the "right place at the right time" to capture the spectacular moment a meteor flashed across the southeast Queensland skyline as its moment of impact was felt across the region. And, there could be more moments like this to come.
The photographer had planned to use the clear, crisp evening to take landscapes of the stars reflecting off North Pine Dam.
But during a 15-second exposure facing the south-west, he saw a great flash.
"I saw it come right down in the sky, so I just hoped while the exposure was going that I actually captured it," he said.
"I got the bottom two-thirds of the meteor in the picture... it was the right place, right time." Thousands of southeast Queenslanders saw or heard the meteor, which struck just after 10pm.
Social media lit up with people having seen the flash, or felt their homes rumble or shake from its impact, particularly north and west of Brisbane.
The meteor is likely due to the "Taurid Swarm", a cloud of debris leftover from a massive comet that is thought to have been responsible for cataclysmic collisions in the past, such as the notorious Tunguska event in Russia. 2000 square kilometres of Siberian forest was flattened by a suspected meteor during that incident in June 1908.
The Earth passes close to the Taurid Swarm twice a year, with increased meteor activity in June/July and October.
But we're currently the closest we've been to the swarm since 1975, with astronomers using the opportunity to study the debris cloud for any potential objects that could be a risk to the Earth in the future.