Reentry or bright meteor seen

From: Edward S Light (
Date: Mon Mar 15 2004 - 19:53:09 EST

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    While going out to observe some satellites, we saw a rapidly moving
    object pass between Alkaid (eta UMa) and Mizar (zeta UMa), moving
    horizontally to the right.  It was moving very quickly, passing above
    Alkaid at approximately 19:27.7 EST (2004 March 16/00:27.7 UTC).
    It had a distinctive gold color and was as bright as Jupiter (mag -2.5).
    It left a trail and split into two major pieces, the largest one
    continuing onward into the trees (we didn't have time to move so
    that the trees wouldn't obscure its path).
    Did anyone else happen to see [or hear] of this?  Was anything
    scheduled to reenter about that time over the NE USA?
    We've never seen a reentry, and have seen several meteors and
    my guess would be a reentering object, but I really don't know.
    (Alas, we were so surprised by this apparation that I didn't think
    to time its apparent angular velocity :( )
    Clear and dark skies!
       Ed Light
    Lakewood, NJ, USA
    N 40.1075, W 074.2312, +24 m (80 ft)
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