A spherical ball of light lit up the skies of the Australian Capital Territory before quickly disappearing into thin air.
A video, originally uploaded to Reddit, shows a doughnut shaped orb appearing above Canberra during a storm on Sunday night, faintly backlit with a red and green glow.
Obviously everyone’s first thought was that the alien invasion of movie classics like Independence Day was finally upon us.
Australian National University astronomer Brad Tucker said the red and green light which glowed faintly in the background was “characteristic of an aurora” however believed this time it was ball lightning.
“An aurora is when energy from the sun hits the earth’s atmosphere, the energy rubs the earth’s atmosphere with friction and charges the gas,” he said.
“But the problem is there was no activity from the sun, it was cloudy, we can’t see the aurora, so it doesn’t really fit.”
Dr Tucker said in this case, the energy to create an aurora probably came from the thunderstorm itself.
“The same activity that causes an aurora, can actually happen inside our atmosphere if you have a storm with a lot of electrical charge that is rubbing against the gases in our atmosphere, causing it to grow that green or red colour,” he said.
“Sometimes, if you get a really interesting occurrence, you create something called ‘ball lightning’.
“Normally lightning strikes up and down hitting the ground, but ball lightning is a weird thing where it appears as a ball explosion, sometimes it can even move around in the sky.”
Whatever it was, it was pretty weird.
Laura F. Nixon