WATCH

Incredible video of 'celestial skidmarks' in the sky above Tasmania

Did you have your eyes to the sky about 6.15pm on Friday?

An incredible lightshow appeared in the south, travelling west to east across the sky above Tasmania.

The video was captured by several readers of The Advocate, including Jess Hampson who got a stunningly clear video of the astronomical event, and Kyle Targett who sent in a photo.

Picture: Kyle Targett

Picture: Kyle Targett

Tastrofest director and astrophysicist Brittany Trubody speculated it was a satellite or something man-made which was re-entering the atmosphere.

"What you're seeing essentially is celestial skid marks in the atmosphere," she told the Advocate.

"It is just not a common thing. It happens every day but usually when it happens at night we're inside and not looking at the sky so to see it is really exciting.

"When there is a catastrophic failure of something on launch they try to aim it at the South Pacific so there is the least likelihood of it striking something.

"Most of the time it does actually burn up re-entry.

"When they de-orbit the Hubble telescope they are going to aim for the South Pacific.

"We happen to be on a really great trajectory to see these things.

Picture: Sandy Powell

Picture: Sandy Powell

"They're travelling about 7-8 kilometres per second and then atmosphere then puts the brakes on."

Mrs Trubody's opinion was backed up by Launceston Planetarium director Martin George.

"No question, it is not a meteor," he said.

"A meteor would not be visible for that long.

"It's very clear from the video that the object is breaking up in the atmosphere. It does happen from time to time.

"Bits and pieces break off depending on the overall construction of the space-craft or the debris, whatever it's made of and all that kind of thing.

"So it's quite common to see a number of pieces coming off ... which appear to be burning up separately.

"Now, that can happen with meteors, as well, except for the fact that they're only visible for a few seconds.

"This one is coming in at the speed which is very, very typical of the reentry of an orbiting object."

This story What was it that left 'celestial skidmarks' in the sky? first appeared on The Advocate.