'SONIC BOOM': Reports of bright white meteor, 'loud crack'

AT 4.55pm yesterday, many stunned locals witnessed something unusual in our skies.

There have been dozens of reports of a bright white or orange meteor, followed by a "loud crack", like thunder, or "sonic boom", shortly after the sighting.

On the Australian Meteor Reports Facebook page, admin David Findlay wrote: "Something just happened in northern NSW. Heaps of people starting to join. Post your observations here".

There were plenty of responses.

Mitch Roberts: "There are reports of a bright white meteor with tail, also some faint sonic booms."

Sarah Molles: "My daughter and I heard what sounded like a sonic boom in Lismore... people in local groups are saying they heard in Casino, Ballina and surrounding areas."

Zoë Harewood: "Saw it in Larnook, it was white and probably longer than three seconds as I drew my partner's attention to it. Travelling south east from Larnook and was a bright white. The sonic boom felt like 30 seconds or so after."

Philip Chilli Tsourlinis: "Lismore, Goonellabah, Nimbin, Casino, Larnook and other parts on our region heard a loud crack like thunder. It's been backed up by many sightings of a orange meteor with a white tail that looked lower than a plane that lasted five seconds. It obviously exploded mid air."

Kathrina Southwell: "I felt the sonic boom through the ground before I heard it. The water on my dam had ripples on it! I'm in Ballina on North Creek. The noise went for a few seconds."

According to the Australian Museum, the small particles which become meteors typically range from the size of a grain of sand up to the size of a pea.

"When heated to incandescence by friction with air in our atmosphere, they burn up completely at heights of about 80km to 130km," the museum's website states.

"The trail of glowing, electrically-charged gases that surrounds and streams away from the meteoroid is called a meteor.

"These brief, bright streaks of light are sometimes called 'shooting stars'."