Go Back Report # 1449


A Strange Meteor


Recently in Melbourne the sky to the eastward presented a peculiar appearance, a yellowish coloured light extending for a considerable distance along the horizon. Suddenly an immense ball of fire, apparently of a yellow hue, appeared in the sky, which was perfectly clear at the time, the stars to the westward being remarkably brilliant. The phenomenon worked gradually from the east to the south, the pitching and tossing resembling the motion of a kite in a gale of wind. At intervals, the ball of fire appeared to detach portions of its luminous composition, the brilliancy of which caused the star lights to disappear. The strange visitor hovered about several points to the southward, for more than an hour. The phenomenon was witnessed at sea, as well as on land. Mr. Thompson, second mate of the steamer Lindus which arrived in Corio Bay, from Newcastle, states that when the steamer was abreast of Cape Paterson, fully 50 miles from Port Phillip Heads, he noticed the singular appearance of a ball of fire to the eastward shortly before three o’clock in the morning of the same day. It dodged about with the waving motion of a kite, and frequently streaks of flame shot away from the main body of fire. On the previous morning, Mr. Thompson states, he observed, some hours before sunrise, that the eastern horizon was of a bright yellow colour, the western horizon being of a greenish tint.


Reference for the above text is: Illustrated Sydney News (NSW: 1853 - 1872), Saturday 14 April 1883, page 23.

My reference: E-mail from Chris Aubeck of the Magonia Exchange dated November 23, 2011.




Australia – Victoria. Body of water is Bass Strait.

Melbourne            Latitude 37-49-00 S, Longitude 144-58-00 E (D-M-S) [seat of a first-order admin. div.]

Corio Bay              Latitude 38-07-00 S, Longitude 144-26-00 E [bay]

Cape Paterson      Latitude 38-40-00 S, Longitude 145-36-00 E [cape]


Newcastle             Latitude 32-55-00 S, Longitude 151-45-00 E populated place – New South Wales]

Reference: http://geonames.nga.mil/ggmaviewer/


Port Phillip Heads             Latitude 38-17-59.9 S, Longitude 144-37-1.19 E [bay]

Reference: http://www.thegmttimes.com/Australia/Port_Phillip_Heads,_Australia_.aspx


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