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Mystery Fireball Over Australia Finally Explained

11/07/2014 11:41 BST | Updated 11/07/2014 11:59 BST

A huge fireball that was seen over Australia has been finally explained as probably being nothing more than just 'space junk' and not an asteroid.

The massive fireball was caught hurtling through the atmosphere above Victoria and around New South Wales, with hundreds taking to Twitter or YouTube to post pictures and videos of the (at the time) unexplained object.

Keeping things rational though was Professor Brian Schmidt, an astronomer from the National University who predicted that the object was probably nothing more than 'space junk' breaking up in the Earth's atmosphere.

Space junk or meteor the resulting fireball was more than a little spectacular and with so many people seeing it throughout such a large area it's clear that whatever it was, it was big.

Finally bringing calm and order to the people of Australia was the National Observatory which released a statement confirming that it was in fact a meteor which had hit the Earth's atmosphere.

"The object was likely to be a piece of an asteroid or space rock hitting the Earth’s atmosphere, moving almost parallel to the Earth’s surface along the above path."

"It would have been 100 km or so high so that it could be seen for hundreds of kilometres. As it travelled along the intense heat of friction would have broken off bits of it and this was seen, especially from the Sydney region,"

"A very bright object passing through the atmosphere is called a bolide or a fireball. It is the same as a meteor, but brighter as it is a larger object."