|Occurred : 9/1/2006 20:55 (Entered as : 09/01/06 20:55)
Reported: 9/1/2006 9:39:25 PM 21:39
Location: Yelm (east of), WA
|Very bright, unmoving object in eastern sky that suddenly faded to invisibility over about six seconds.
While driving eastward, I noticed a brilliant, star-like object about 40° above the horizon with brightness between that of Venus and Jupiter when observed on the local meridian.
The object was unmoving, and I wondered if my dream of seeing a supernova before I died was about to be fulfilled.
The object was unmoving, and I could not discern any other lights associated with it, as with an airplane.
After viewing it for about 20 seconds, the light faded to zero in approximately 5-7 seconds. Prior to this its light output was steady, insofar as I could observe with the unaided eye.
Of course, Jupiter was low in the west at the time of the sighting, and I saw it, as well as the moon, which was just past first quarter, i.e., in waxing gibbous phase.
Venus can never appear where this object did since its greatest eastern elongation is about 47°, as I recall.
Sirius, the brightest star, is not as bright as this object was, and, of course, it's a wintertime object.
I don't have a ready explanation for what this object could have been.
((NUFORC Note: The only Iridium flare visible on this date would have occurred at 22:15 hrs. Therefore, the sighting probably was not of an Iridium satellite flare. It may have been the landing light on an airliner, approaching from the east, but that is only one of many possibilities. PD))