About 10pm, the flash, described by many as a burst of blue and white light, was seen from Whangarei to the upper South Island.
Josh Sherborne was fortunate to capture a brief glimpse of the meteor on his dashcam.(See Video Below)
A meteoroid is a small rocky or metallic body travelling through space. Meteoroids are significantly smaller than asteroids, and range in size from small grains to 1 meter-wide objects. Smaller objects than this are classified as micrometeoroids or space dust.
Most are fragments from comets or asteroids, while others are collision impact debrisejected from bodies such as the Moon or Mars.
When such an object enters the Earth’s atmosphere at a speed typically in excess of 20 km/s, aerodynamic heating produces a streak of light, both from the glowing object and the trail of glowing particles that it leaves in its wake. This phenomenon is called a meteor, or colloquially a “shooting star” or “falling star”.
A series of many meteors appearing seconds or minutes apart, and appearing to originate from the same fixed point in the sky, is called a meteor shower. Incoming objects larger than several meters (asteroids or comets) can explode in the air.
If a meteoroid, comet or asteroid or a piece thereof withstands ablation from its atmospheric entry and impacts with the ground, then it is called a meteorite.
Around 15,000 tonnes of meteoroids, micrometeoroids and different forms of space dust enter Earth’s atmosphere each year.