SPACE KNOWLEDGE: Dr Peter Broxham confirmed the mysterious light spotted in Monday night's sky was an Indian moon mission.
SPACE KNOWLEDGE: Dr Peter Broxham confirmed the mysterious light spotted in Monday night's sky was an Indian moon mission. Emily Bradfield

Former NASA scientist explains mysterious light in sky

A MYSTERIOUS light in the sky this week had locals spooked and questioning the existence of aliens.

The light was travelling east across the sky but moved slower than a shooting star and left a misty trail behind.

Dalby resident Cara O'Neil and her partner were looking at the stars when they spotted the anamoly.

"It looked sort of like headlights in the sky.

"We were looking at it for only a couple of seconds, I took my phone out and took a picture and I walked a little bit further into the yard but by that time it had disappeared,” she said.

The light was unlike anything Ms O'Neil had ever seen before. She described the light as like a torch rolling around on the ground and only lasted between 30 seconds and a minute.

Meteors and shooting stars are usually quick and in a line, there's no glow around it and same with satellites, it's a constant moving thing and they don't reflect off the clouds,” she said.

Instead, this light was slow moving and the light bounced back off the clouds.

Ms O'Neil posted her photos to a Facebook group in search of answers, and while many jumped straight to aliens, it turns out it was a rocket leaving earth.

SPOOKY: Cara O'Neil snapped this picture of the mysterious light in the sky on Monday.
SPOOKY: Cara O'Neil snapped this picture of the mysterious light in the sky on Monday. Cara O'Neil

According to Dalby scientist, Dr Peter Broxham, there was a reasonable explanation for the mysterious light.

According to him, the light was caused by the Indian space craft Chandrayaan-2. The Indian moon landing mission, was stalled out last week due to technical issues and launched yesterday, causing the misty light to cross Queensland skies.

"What people were seeing was the space vehicle staging, it made its initial launch and then it's fired to gain more altitude. That's why it was so misty looking around the core of the vehicle,” Dr Broxham said.

"It just so happens that the trajectory of the vehicle takes it straight across Queensland and it was still at such a low altitude, it still hadn't gained the height of the International Space Station yet.”

Dr Broxham was a project manager at NASA on and off for about 40 years.

"The biggest giveaway was how long it was up there and the misty trail around the core.

"The space station comes around like a very large dot in the sky, a continual spaced arc across the sky, and a shooting star is just there one second and gone the next,” he said.

Dr Broxham said there is always plenty to see if you look up at the sky, and Dalby is the perfect place to do it.

"If you do that you do tend to see a lot of satellites, space junk coming down and burning up, and if you go to the NASA website you can get alerts for when the International Space Station is coming over.”

"We're very luck in Dalby if you come out just as far as the airport we've got very dark skies, there's very little pollution just out this way or if they go towards Bowenville Reserve that's great, it's really dark you can see a lot more than you normally would.”


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