Bright meteor Saturday nigh

ROB MATSON (ROBERT.D.MATSON@cpmx.saic.com)
10 Mar 1998 14:58:18 -0800

Hello all,

Nancy Hendrickson wrote:

> I,too, saw what I first thought were meteors.  I was driving home to =
San
> Diego from Orange County about 8:00 p.m. SATURDAY night, the 7th.
> What I saw was so bright I wondered if I was seeing something from a
> decaying spacecraft.  When I got home I pulled out my astronomy
> references but there was no meteor shower noted.  Anyone else see
> this Saturday, not Sunday?

I was hesistant to post this to Seesat-L since I was confident that what
I saw was a very bright meteor, but since there have been a few posts,
I wanted to rule out the possibility of a satellite reentry.

I was driving north on the 710 freeway just south of the 405 freeway and
north of Long Beach, CA, when I observed a very bright, slow-moving
meteor about 30 to 40 degrees above the west-northwest horizon at exactly
7:30pm PST (3:30 UT on Sunday, 8 March 1998).  I probably did not
catch the beginning of this meteor since it was nearly 80 degrees to the
left of the direction I was looking.  If it hadn't been so bright -- at =
least
magnitude -6 or -7, I would not have seen it.

It travelled vertically downward -- directly toward the horizon  (thus =
ruling
out a satellite reentry).  My recollection was that it was slightly =
bluish,
which I thought was rather unusual for a meteor.  I only saw it for about
1-and-a-half seconds before it burned out (still above the horizon).  I
listened to radio news for the next half-hour, but no mention was
made of the meteor.  --Rob