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Spectacle over Melbourne likely remnants of Russian rocket

A spectacular fireball seen streaking across the sky in Melbourne on Monday night was likely the remnant of a Russian rocket, authorities have confirmed.

Melbourne residents heard a loud boom and felt an “aftershock” around the time an amazing phenomenon was seen streaking across the sky on Monday.

The mysterious spectacle has been variously described by those who saw it as a meteor, comet or space junk.

The Australian Space Agency has since confirmed the flashing light seen in the night sky was most likely part of a Russian Soyuz-2 rocket re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere.

“Launch of the Soyuz-2 rocket occurred from Plesetsk Cosmodrome earlier in the evening,” the agency said in a statement to the ABC.

“According to Russian authorities the launch placed a new generation ‘GLONASS-K2’ global navigation satellite into orbit

“This launch was notified and remnants of the rocket were planned to safely re-enter the atmosphere into the ocean off the south-east coast of Tasmania.”

The Australian Space Agency said it will continue to monitor the outcomes of the rocket’s re-entry with Government partners.

A massive possum or another earthquake?

The fireball zoomed across the city around midnight, with many quickly getting their phones out to capture the spectacle.

While we now know the likely cause of the sight in the sky and the tremor, the internet was alight with theories to to what it could have been.

“I felt and heard this. Immediately thought ANOTHER earthquake or sound barrier breaking,” wrote Nick Horton on X, formerly known as Twitter.

The internet was awash with stunning videos as social media went into a frenzy and witnesses shared their awe.

Geoscience Australia confirmed it had received multiple “felt reports” from Melbourne around 12:00am (AEST).

“We identified seismic signals near north-west Melbourne, but with insufficient data for publication to the EQ@GA website.

“Um excuse me, I just saw a meteor? I was literally just going to get a Biscoff shake and saw the coolest thing I’ve ever seen,” wrote one social media user.

Stewart Mason posted to X that he had seen an “amazing sight over Richmond. I don’t know if #Meteor #Comet or #SpaceJunk #Melbourne”.

Many more who felt the ground move questioned if Melbourne was experiencing yet another earthquake.

“The old ‘did a massive possum just jump onto my roof or was it an earthquake’ trick (turns out it was the sonic boom from a meteor??!)…. Never a dull moment,” posted one resident.

Wrote another: “Was there another goddamn earthquake in Melbourne or did I just imagine that.”

Exploring Melbourne posted: “What an amazing sight over Melbourne 💫 Space Junk or Meteor, it was spectacular to see it.”

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