‘Space junk’ lights up regional Victorian sky

Residents in regional Victoria have flocked to social media to share their videos of an unidentified flying object, believed to be a piece of space junk, soaring across the night’s sky.

The object which was seen over Ballarat and spotted as far as Colac heats up as it enters the atmosphere, leaving a trail of bright fluorescent light behind it.

The object could also be a meteor caught in the pull of Earth’s gravitational system.

A still image of the meteor seen against a dark night sky in Ballarat. (Twitter)

It appears the unidentified, glowing object may have been seen across the skies from as far away as northern Tasmania.

While there is yet no confirmation as to what the object may have been, some took to social media to speculate that it was a disintegrating satellite, shooting star or the product of another life form.

“Space rocks” ranging in size and have generally collected their size from comets, other asteroids or moons and planets are only given the name meteorites after they enter the Earth’s atmosphere, NASA says.

“When meteoroids enter Earth’s atmosphere, or that of another planet, like Mars, at high speed (they) burn up,” according to NASA.

“This is also when we refer to them as ‘shooting stars’.

“Sometimes meteors can even appear brighter than Venus – that’s when we call them ‘fireballs’.

“Scientists estimate that about 44,000 kilograms of meteoritic material falls on Earth each day.”

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