Footage has emerged of a fiery space object flying through the sky over Gisborne last night, then breaking up and disintegrating.

The Stardome Observatory said it's either a meteor or space debris re-entering the atmosphere.

Tuki Sweeney caught the video about 7.15pm at a rugby training at Barry Park.

"This big light just came across from the east. It was really bright coming across. All the guys just froze," Sweeney said.


"I thought it might have been an old satellite or old space junk, but then it split up.

"It was going blue, green, white, green, and then slowly split up. It went for about six seconds at least." has reports of sightings throughout the North Island.

Sweeney, the assistant coach of Pirates Rugby, said training stopped because everyone wanted to see the footage.

"But then the coaching said, 'Get back to training!'

"We're playing the top team this week so hopefully that's a good omen."

Stardome Observatory's David Britten said it was most likely space debris, but could well be a meteor half a metre or larger.

"The speed they're coming in is huge. So even a grain of sand, when it hits the very thin atmosphere, burns up," Britten said.

"If people were listening a few minutes later they might have heard it. It takes a few minutes for the sound to travel to us from that height."