Canberrans were treated to a spectacular blue-green light show on Friday evening as a meteor crashed into the Earth's atmosphere, exploded, and sailed by Australia's south-east coast.
The one-metre mass, which would have weighed hundreds of kilograms, got its tint from being rich in iron and nickel, Australian National University astrophysicist Dr Brad Tucker said.
Mount Stromlo Observatory captured the meteor on its sky camera at 8.50pm in the national capital. Before that, it was in NSW's sky, and it would have ultimately landed in Victoria or off its coast.
"It's kind of like doing a belly flop," Dr Tucker said.
"You kind of hit the Earth's atmosphere and break apart.
"If you're really big that can create quite a lot of damage ... but usually with a smaller one like this - being smaller than 10 metres - it just causes it to fragment and those fragments can land as small meteorites."
Despite the meteor appearing extremely close to lucky Canberrans who captured it, Dr Tucker said it was very far away.
"People often think, 'it fell right by me', but the earth is curved, so you can't really tell," he said.
Victorians who saw the meteor reported sonic booms from its explosion, but there were no reports of this in Canberra.
The last meteor spotted in the national capital was between 20 and 50 centimetres in size - very small compared to this one, which Dr Tucker said was "fairly massive".
While there had been several other reports of meteors coming across Canberra in the past few months it was nothing to be concerned about. Each day, 200 tonnes of meteor fragments fall to the earth, and longer nights during winter allowed for more opportunities to see them.
"It's a bit of just a coincidence here," he said.
"We're just in an era now where we get a lot of dashcam [and other camera] footage. People before would say, 'I saw something', and we wouldn't have footage."
"Confirmation bias" was also a factor. It meant as more people were aware of and looking out for meteors, they saw them more.
"It's like when you buy a new car and you start to see it all the time. You're looking out for it," Dr Tucker said.
A shooting star is generally the size of a grain of sand.