|Occurred : 7/27/2003 23:48 (Entered as : 07/27/03 23:48)
Reported: 7/28/2003 5:30:54 AM 05:30
Location: Keerbergen (51.00 N, 4.617 E) (Belgium),
|Bright 'satellite' fades away in a couple of seconds
On 27 July 2003 at 23.46 local time (GMT+2) my son (16) and myself went out into the garden to observe the passage of the ISS, which according to the “heavens-above” website should reach maximum altitude (86 degrees) at 23.48 hours at our location (51.00 N, 4.617 E) with a magnitude of –0.7. The trees in the garden restrict the observable altitudes to about 70 degrees. The sky was clear. Just when the ISS emerged from the west over the trees, we spotted a very bright white light moving in from the south at about the same speed as the ISS but with slightly higher magnitude. It looked as if it was cruising very high in the sky and there was no sound. This second “satellite” moved steadily for about 10 seconds along its path perpendicular to that of the ISS, and then suddenly started to fade. Within a few seconds its magnitude fell (in an orderly fashion) from brighter than the ISS to zero without changing direction. It had vanished before its path crossed that of the ISS, which remained visible until disappearing in eastern direction behind the trees at the other side of the garden. According to the “heavens-above” website there were no other satellite passes or iridium flares that could have explained this observation, neither was it an aeroplane. In view of the light intensity involved and provided that the respective heights match, the ISS crew may have observed the phenomenon.
((NUFORC Note: We have inquired of the witness whether he thinks the second light might have been a tumbling rocket shell ("ullage") in orbit. We are awaiting a response. PD))