Witness Reporter
1 minute read
13 Dec 2021
09:29

UPDATED | Fireballs in the sky in KwaZulu-Natal – meteors, aliens or Santa starting his journey?

Witness Reporter

Fireballs streaking across the sky set social media abuzz on Saturday evening after they captured the attention of curious KZN residents.

Fireballs streaking across the sky set social media abuzz on Saturday evening after they captured the attention of curious KZN residents.

People on social media were divided on what the balls of fire seen in an arc over parts of KwaZulu-Natal on Saturday night were.

Residents were awe-struck by the sighting, describing it as absolutely amazing.

Some wondered if they were the Geminid meteor shower. The Geminids generate up to 120 meteors per hour during their peak from December 13 to 14.

Every year the Earth passes through these debris trails, which allows the bits to collide with our atmosphere where they disintegrate to create fiery and colourful streaks in the sky.

Some jokingly said it was Santa Claus starting his journey across the earth while others said the aliens were coming.

Residents across the Midlands and Pietermaritzburg shared their pictures and videos on the social media, impressed by what they saw. It was also seen from Kloof in Durban.

Commenting on The Witness Facebook page Rikesh Ishwarlall said he had seen the fireballs.

“Yes, it was so hot so we all were outside. We saw what I think was an asteroid and it was burning up as it moved across the sky in a north-easterly direction, breaking down and it eventually burnt out. It was quite a sight, like a sci-fi clip.”

Mntungwa Neliswa quipped, “The apocalypse is nigh.”

A post on the Astronomy – ASSA Johannesburg Centre Facebook page proposed that the lights were probably the re-entry of the SL-4 rocket booster from a rocket which launched the latest cosmonauts to the International Space Station on December 11.

“The lights had nothing to do with a comet, asteroid, meteor stream or the Geminids as posted variously elsewhere”.