Peter Brierley Millnan photographed an enormous flaming object streaking through the sky off the west coast of Auckland last night - and he wants to know what it was.

The Titirangi man was at Karekare Beach in West Auckland around sunset when what he assumed was a "very large asteroid" appeared far out over the Tasman Sea.

"It was really quite impressive - we saw it from a long distance and we could see it was a large object, so it must have been huge."

The object moved through the sky for around 20 minutes before burning up, he said.

Advertisement

"We saw this thing hanging in space. We spent a long time arguing about it was. I would guess it's a big asteroid but it could have been a satellite."

They zoomed in with a camera to see it more clearly.

"It burnt up quite spectacularly. After a while there was a huge stream of fire."