Ashleigh Stevenson and Isobel Roe
They say what appeared to be a massive ball with a blue and orange tail hit the ground in the suburb of Kelso in Townsville around 6:30pm (AEST) last night.
Resident Kim Vega was sitting in her backyard at Kelso when she saw the moment of impact.
"It was like an explosion but without a sound," she said.
"You've just seen it was like an atomic bomb effect when it would have hit the ground and all the trees and the skies lit up."
She said it was lucky the object made ground in rural bushland so no-one was injured.
"Until you see them come out of the sky like that and actually look as though they hit the ground, they could obviously do a lot of damage," she said.
"Because it hit [a rural area], obviously no one rang up and reported 'it hit a house'."
Resident Terry Robinson said it looked "amazing".
"It was pretty big and this thing hit like a bomb - it was huge," he said.
"I don't know how big it was, but in the sky it looked like half-a-dozen jumbo jets falling out of the sky at the same time."
Astronomer Owen Bennedick, from Wappa Falls Observatory in Yandina on Queensland's Sunshine Coast, suggests the object was not a meteor but more likely part of a satellite re-entering the Earth's atmosphere.
"Each different metal or each different plastic that a satellite's made of will burn at a different temperature and have a different colour spectrum," he said.
Mr Bennedick says falling satellite debris is becoming more and more common.
But he says the spectacle of an impact can be an optical illusion.
"Only the heavier objects make it to ground - the rest of it burns up in the atmosphere," he said.
"My experience is that most people think it's landed just over the next door hill, but the pieces that have actually landed, have landed hundreds of kilometres away.
"They look like they're very close but that's not necessarily the case."
Astronomy enthusiasts are searching for the objects this morning.
Comment: When it comes to covering up for meteors entering the atmosphere, a falling satellite is always a good explanation. In this case, it might be, but the fact is that we live in a shooting gallery, though our scientists and governments use the media to sooth us that everything is under control, when it is not, and nobody is doing anything about it.