26 Apr 2017

Light in the sky over Chch likely Nasa balloon

12:58 am on 26 April 2017

A light in the sky over Christchurch spotted by many last night is likely to be a Nasa balloon which was launched in Wanaka.

Tricia Lewis took this picture of the balloon light up as the sun set.

Tricia Lewis took this picture of the balloon light up as the sun set. Photo: Supplied / Tricia Lewis

The balloon was successfully launched today, after seven failed attempts.

Retired MetService meteorologist, Steve Rawdon said yesterday it was likely people in Christchurch would see the balloon as a glint in the sky at sunset.

On social media there have been multiple reports of people seeing a unusual large object in the sky above Christchurch.

Christchurch residents have reported seeing a light in the sky.

Christchurch residents have reported seeing a light in the sky. Photo: Facebook / Tricia Lewis‎

A Met Service duty forecaster said the object was likely to have been the NASA balloon, as westerly winds would have been sent the balloon in the direction of Christchurch.

The Nasa balloon project was aimed at testing balloon technology and and monitoring how cosmic rays interact with the atmosphere.

From Wanaka it is heading north-east, before floating off the coast of the South Island, towards South America.

The balloon will be in the air for about 100 days, and in that time it was expected to go around the world two or three times.

Get the new RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs