Watch: Fireball meteor lights up the skies above New Zealand

Video: CCTV footage from the North Island shows a possible fireball

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The Independent Online

This is the moment a fireball meteor burned through the skies above northern New Zealand on Wednesday evening.

The video was shot from the dashcam of Josh Sherbone, a New Zealand resident who filmed the meteor over the sky in Tauranga, a city in the Bay of Plenty region of New Zealand's North Island.

Sherborne wrote underneath the video: "On my way to the gym when bam this comes out of no where. I actually thought it was lightning. 
Pretty cool to have seen it happen little ol' New Zealand."

The video shows a short, bust of blue light emerging from the clouds and briefly turning the night-time sky bright like daytime.

The New Zealand Herald said that the fireball was seen "from Whangarei to the upper South Island" and that had received several reports from people who had seen something in the sky.

Experts in New Zealand said it was most probably a fireball meteor. Fireball meteors are not that uncommon compared to shooting stars, but because they don't last that long, people rarely see them.

Marek Kukula, the public astronomer at the Royal Observatory Greenwich, told the Independent, that "as CCTV and webcams become more ubiquitous, more and more of these are being picked up. No one was on the beach at that time, so no one saw it.

"This is very interesting for scientists. You know, from the direction and angle of the camera's positioning, what the meteor's trajectory was and so you can work out where it came from the solar system. That is incredibly useful data."

Kukula said some 40,000 tonnes of material hits the Earth every year, with most just disintegrating into dust as they enter the atmosphere.