RE: Fireball or re-entry?

Floyd Weaver (
Tue, 16 Nov 1999 22:14:10 -0500

	I am located in east central PA. Tonight on my way home I saw what may have
been the same thing mentioned below. I was at Brickerville PA. which is at
76.30 west and 40.23 degree north. It is hard to have highly accurate
measurements noted while driving but I will do the best I can. Looking at
the map it appears I was heading to the west northwest, and the first I saw
of it was a bit to the right of my direction of travel which makes it in the
northwest. I first thought it was an airplane with the landing lights on,
but I did not know of any airport nearby that it could have been coming
into. It looked like an airplane due to the brightness and the appearance of
multiple landing lights instead of one point of light. It was very low,
maybe close 10 degree elv. Shortly I noted it had risen and now had a trail
extending down and behind it. The trail was not of one solid brightness but
had some bright spots in it. It continued to change and I soon thought this
was a number (maybe about a dozen) of aircraft flying in formation, though
they were not in a very good formation and the brightness varied greatly.
Some of them were disappearing. I soon realized it was something reentering
as I could see the trails of fire extending back about 10 degrees from the
objects. The leading item was the last one to disappear. It was last seen in
the north at maybe 30 degree elv and was moving close the horizontal.

	Oh yes I almost forgot the time. A minute or so after I saw it I thought of
the time and looked at my pager which does not give seconds. The time was
19:06 which I estimate makes it 19:04 (00:04 11-17-99 UTC) as the time I was
seeing it. The elapsed time that I saw it is again one of those things hard
to estimate, but my best guess is close to 30 seconds. I have since checked
my pager time accuracy and it is 15 seconds fast. I usually set it 30
seconds fast, that way rounded too the nearest minute it is always right.

Floyd Weaver

> I'm located in central Indiana, 85 degrees forty minutes west, 40
> degrees 5
> minutes north. At 7:05 pm eastern, I saw a VERY bright fireball of some
> sort pass from west to east. I estimate when I first saw it, it was about
> 40 degrees up in the northwest (I was looking for MIR). It passed
> due north
> of me at about 30 degrees and "set" in the northeast. It was EXTREMELY
> bright, fluctuated in brightness and had a very bright and long
> tail. After
> passing the tail diminished and disappeared, but I could still see 3 or 4
> bright "spots" trailing one another until it set. It seemed to slow
> somewhat as passed also.
> Was this a Leonid or a satellite decay?

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