Melbourne: India’s second moon mission Chandrayaan-2 could have passed through the Australian sky as hundreds of people in western Queensland and the Northern Territory contacted local channels and reported seeing a bright light in the sky.
People contacted the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) channel and reported seeing a bright light in the sky, which an astronomer explained could be the Chandrayaan-2. The ABC quoted Shauna Royes who spotted the light over the Julia Creek caravan park in remote north-west Queensland about 7.30 pm (local time) on Monday night. ”We were actually at the caravan park having a bush dinner for not-for-profit organisations, so there were around 160 people, and one of the tourists looked up and said ‘look’,” the McKinlay Shire councillor said.
“It was quite a bright, unusual light with a tail. It was travelling north-east and we watched it for two or three minutes before it faded out. We had no idea what it was. It was really unusual,” the councillor said. Several people captured photographs and videos of the mysterious light, sharing photos from Rockhampton in central Queensland to Atherton in the state’s far north. Jacob Blunt saw the light near Cape Crawford in the Northern Territory and filmed it. “Look at it, it is an alien or UFO,” he said in the clip. “I thought it was a UFO, so I tried to shoot it with my NERF gun,” he later posted on the ABC North-West Facebook page.
In New South Wales, people spotted the unidentified light. University of Southern Queensland astrophysics Prof Jonti Horner said those who hoped the light was a sign of an alien life would be left disappointed. “My first thought was that it’s a meteor, but looking at the footage it can’t be a meteor, it’s not something in the earth’s atmosphere at all,” he said, adding that it looked like a rocket, something orbiting the earth doing a prolonged engine burn.
“Interestingly, earlier today India launched its second moon mission Chandrayaan-2 so it seems a really good bet that this is that engaging its engine to move towards the moon. It’s not quite a sign of an alien life – it’s a sign of India going to the moon,” he said. “In some ways that’s even cooler, you are seeing something that is exciting and it’s worth remembering that we are now in an era that it’s not just the US and Russia, we have China on the moon and India going, it really is a global endeavour,” the professor added.