Second video shows brightness of fireball seen in lower North Island

Source: 1News

Witnesses have reported seeing a bright flash of light in sky above Wellington and Wairarapa shortly before 2pm on Thursday.

Footage from the dashcam of plumber Curtis Powell, who was driving north of Shannon at the time, captured a bright flash between clouds.

A second dashcam video sent to 1News from a car on SH57 captured the bright streak before the object appeared to burn up.

Astronomer Dr Ian Griffin believes it could be either be a re-entering satellite or potentially a meteoroid.

"Meteorites in this country are quite rare so actually getting one would be quite cool."

Griffin encourages witnesses to keep record of the event as it may help improve scientific gatherings.

"If you've got video or photographs of the event it's really important to keep them, as we might be able to use them to triangulate the position of the thing, and where it landed, if it did land.

Griffin says scientists with seismometers across the country should check for "shockwaves of this thing exploding".

"Also if you saw it and heard a bang, that's quite interesting too. If you know the time between when you saw the flash of light heard the bang that gives us a sense of distance," he said.

Space scientist Dr Duncan Steel says meteors are "due to macrometeoroids in the atmosphere coming in very quickly, typically 30km per second".

"To be seen during the daytime it would need to be quite large, something the size of a rugby ball or bigger - that's what makes them rare."

Shooting stars seen at night are typically the size of a grape, he says.