2 Apr 2012

Bright flash in night sky thought to be meteor

10:01 pm on 2 April 2012

The Carter Observatory believes a bright flash seen throughout New Zealand on Monday night was a meteor.

Police received dozens of calls from people between Auckland and Christchurch who reported a bright flash across the sky about 6.30pm.

John Field, public programmes manager at the Wellington observatory, says he believes the bright flash was a meteor burning up high in the atmosphere.

The Rescue Co-ordination Centre says it thought it was sunlight catching a vapour trail from a small aircraft moving at high speed.

But Mr Field says that is unlikely, considering the number of witnesses seeing it at the same time across a large area.