Huge green meteor spotted over Gisborne

A huge meteor that lit up the sky above the North Island's east coast for several seconds has been inadvertently caught on camera by a man filming a rugby training.

The comet, which had an emerald tinge, was recorded at the Pirates Rugby Club in Gisborne by resident Tuki Sweeney, who later posted it to Facebook.

Three rugby teams were practising when the meteor flashed overhead, and every player "stood still like zombies" until it vanished, Mr Sweeney told TVNZ.

"It actually brightened up the whole rugby pitch - there was about three rugby fields and it brightened up the whole area," he said.

While meteors are commonplace - especially at this time of year, when skies are dark - this one was notable for its size, brightness and green colouring.

National Geographic says a meteor with a green glow indicates that it is at least partially made up of copper, as that's the colour the ductile metal goes when it burns.

Meteors could be seen all over New Zealand two weeks ago, when the Eta Aquarid shower occurred and our shores were deemed the best place to watch it.