Meteorite Hunt Leader Describes Seeing "Fireball Streak Through the Sky"

In a moment that left him awestruck, meteorite hunter Dennis Behan witnessed a remarkable celestial event unfolding before his very eyes. While tending to his garden in Queenstown, a dazzling fireball blazed across the sky, captivating his gaze and igniting a pursuit that would lead to a groundbreaking discovery.

Definition, History, and Meaning

Meteorite hunt leader describes seeing 'fireball streak through ...

A meteorite is a fragment of extraterrestrial rock that has entered Earth’s atmosphere, surviving its descent and landing on our planet. Throughout history, meteorites have played a significant role in shaping our understanding of the cosmos and inspiring countless tales of wonder and exploration.

Current Trends and Developments

The recent meteorite hunt in New Zealand highlights the ongoing search for these celestial visitors. Fireballs Aotearoa, a collaborative network of scientists and enthusiasts, operates a system of cameras across the country to detect and track meteorites. This technology has revolutionized the field, enabling researchers to locate and retrieve meteorites with unprecedented precision.


Q: What is the difference between a meteor, meteorite, and meteoroid?

A: A meteor is a streak of light produced when a meteoroid (a small piece of cosmic debris) enters Earth’s atmosphere and burns up. A meteorite is a meteoroid that survives the journey and lands on Earth.

Q: Can meteorites be harmful to humans?

A: While meteorites can create impact craters, the chances of being struck by one are extremely slim. Most meteorites are small in size and burn up in the atmosphere, posing no threat to humans.

Tips and Expert Advice

For those interested in meteorite hunting, Behan recommends staying alert and aware of your surroundings. If you witness a fireball, immediately note its location and report it to Fireballs Aotearoa. Patience and determination are also essential, as the search for meteorites can sometimes take considerable time and effort.


The discovery of New Zealand’s tenth meteorite is a reminder of the boundless mysteries that lie beyond our planet. By embracing scientific advancements and sharing our knowledge, we can continue to unravel the secrets of the cosmos and deepen our understanding of the universe we inhabit.