FW: Unknown object seen burning up in atmosphere

From: Chris Peat (chris.peat@dlr.de)
Date: Tue Sep 23 2008 - 10:54:11 UTC

  • Next message: Ralph McConahy: "Re: FW: Unknown object seen burning up in atmosphere"

    Hi all,
    I just received this interesting fireball report from a Heavens-Above user
    in California. Any ideas what he could have seen?
    Chris Peat
    From: Jeff Hall
    Sent: 22 September 2008 23:37
    To: Chris Peat
    Subject: Unknown object seen burning up in atmosphere
    Importance: High
    Hi Chris-
    I have recently stumbled across your site and have a recent experience to
    share with you that maybe you have some answers to explain what I saw.
    I was out at my cabin in the desert this last weekend [Sept. 19th] and
    witnessed the most intense 'meteor' that I have ever seen. It was so intense
    that my friends who witnessed it with me suspected that it was some sort of
    manmade object re entering the atmosphere and burning up. It reminded me of
    the footage of the space shuttle Columbia when it burned up during re entry,
    so much so, that I turned on the radio half expecting to hear a news update
    about losing the shuttle or even the ISS...
    Our position was Twentynine Palms, CA USA Lat: 34.25115 Long: -116.11517
    [from the coordinates that I gathered from your site]
    Approximate time: 11pm
    Direction:  West to East
    As I walked out of my cabin, I saw a fireball already in motion coming out
    of the West, appearing about 30 degrees above the horizon [when I first saw
    it] and it traversed the sky to a little past overhead directly to the East
    before finally burning up completely. We had seen multiple falling stars all
    throughout the evening, but they all seemed to be radiating from the East at
    about 70 degrees above the horizon [sorry, I don't know the proper way to
    describe the actual astronomical position  :D ] So it struck me as unusual
    that this one was from the opposite direction.
    It was approximately 11pm at the time I witnessed it and it moved quite a
    bit slower than any meteor that I have ever seen. It literally took
    approximately 6-9 seconds to burn up completely and traversed the sky at the
    approximate speed that a low flying airliner would travel to pass overhead.
    I actually yelled to my friends to come look at the meteor and had a short
    conversation to convince them to come outside while it was still in flight.
    They actually casually walked out expecting it to be gone, but still saw it
    in flight.
    It burned a very bright orange and seemed to explode 3 separate times
    generating more particles which continued burning abnormally long as well
    and the main piece continued intensifying in brightness until it burned out
    completely at about 75-80 degrees above the eastern horizon.
    Anyway, to make a long story short, I was wondering if you have heard
    anything about a large meteor or especially a manmade object burning up on
    Friday night at or around that time.
    Subscribe/Unsubscribe info, Frequently Asked Questions, SeeSat-L archive:

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Tue Sep 23 2008 - 10:55:08 UTC