May 5, 2006 object entry over Southern NewMexico and Far West Texas

From: Thomas Dorman (
Date: Mon Jun 05 2006 - 16:30:05 EDT

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    I am checking with the group to see if anyone can
    account for a event we had out here in far west Texas
    U.S.A..The event time was May 5,2006 at 3:44:58UT.The
    event was observed at distances of three hundred miles
    and the sonic boom heard at 100 miles around the
    event.The event reach a peak magnitude of greater than
    -20.The event cast light on the ground at my location
    which is one of the most light polluted areas of the
    city of El Paso and we also had nearly a half
    moon.Event duration was about 9.5 seconds.There was a
    Russian rocket motor that decayed the morning before
    but I can not account from what I have found to this
    event being a space junk decay.The media and some
    experts in astronomy said space junk but that seems to
    be a standard answer for most event of this type.
    I have observed space junk decays before,rocket bodies
    etc.and have observed shuttle reentry but never have I
    seen anything like this in my more than 43 years of
    skywatching.We are talking about a firball that was at
    least five degress in diameter with a trail 30 degrees
    and an train at least 50 degrees.Fragments observed
    smoking before winking out. 
    If this was space junk can anyone ID it for me.
    Thomas Dorman
    Horizon City, Texas  
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