Late in the evening on Monday, a bright flash lit up the sky above Boyne Island, in the Australian state of Queensland, on the country’s eastern coast. The flash was followed by a small earthquake.
What was it? Initially people on the ground had no idea, just the surprised witnesses to one of nature’s more spectacular shows, what experts later said was a meteor—likely about three feet wide—crashing to Earth.
“[It] looked like a big as hell shooting star and lit up the beach,” one witness posted on Facebook, according to the Australian Associated Press. “Then about a minute later a big bang and a shockwave came over the water and shook my car.”
A Harvard professor told a local outlet that it was probably the largest meteor seen hitting Earth in “several years.” And it will probably be the biggest thing to crash into the planet for a while yet, unless the out-of-control situation with China’s space lab turns out even worse than we thought.
This article has been updated to correct the cardial direction of the coast of Queensland.