A massive meteor shower was spotted over southeast Queensland on Monday night with stargazers left in awe by the "spectacular" sight.

Witnesses reported that the meteor broke off into four or five pieces as it burnt across the southeast about 6pm.

Sightings were recorded from Gold Coast all the way down to Byron Bay and inland as far as Ipswich and Toowoomba.

Onlookers described the fireball in the sky as orange with a long trail.

 

A meteor was spotted over southeast Queensland on Monday night. Picture: File
A meteor was spotted over southeast Queensland on Monday night. Picture: File

 

 

It lasted less than 10 seconds according to witnesses before it headed south and cooled off.

A Brisbane Astronomical Society spokesman said the meteor shower could possibly linked to earth's annual passing through the orbit of Halley's comet.

"Like all comets it leaves a lot of dust behind as it gets near the sun, and when that impacts the atmosphere we see it as meteors," he said.

People on the Australian Meteor Reports Facebook group called the sight spectacular and said they'd "never seen anything like it before".

The earth gets around 20 tonnes of leftover debris a day from the solar system which is why these seemingly random meteor showers tend to happen.

As the debris hits the earth's atmosphere the frictional force creates it to burn up according to Southern Astronomical Society president Brendan Junge.

"The colour it burns up generally explains what elements are in it," Mr Junge said.

"For this one, orange indicates sodium."

 

Originally published as 'Never seen anything like it': Massive fireball burns up night sky