|Occurred : 6/21/2007 23:10 (Entered as : 06/21/07 23:10)
Reported: 6/21/2007 5:27:11 PM 17:27
Location: Mainz (Germany),
|Very bright light moving for 4 sec, then disappeared; course like facing Shuttle course at that time and location
Very bright light moving for 4 sec, then suddenly disappeared, like ‘facing’ SHUTTLE course at the time.
I was looking from 49°57’44.42”N / 8°14’06.45”E from a 6-storey building into the skies from E towards W / WNW / NW between approx. 10:45 pm and 11:30 pm CEST; no clouds in my field of vision as indicated.
I could see the (increasing) moon (W), the biggest and brightest of Leo (NNW), Saturn and Venus (NW) almost like on a 17-min directional line when considering the moon as clockface reference with regard to my point of observation (facing W).
On 06-20-07 I had missed seeing the Shuttle/ISS, yet solely because of the clouds that night.
Today (06-21-07), for locating purposes, I used references: One being NASA TV with the live recording of the actual shuttle orbital position, the other (which for good reasons should have been at my geographical location instead, but no more available at ESA) as given by esa.heavens-above.com/esa/iss_step2.asp?lat= … Marseille&tz=CET because I found Marseille to be a place from where the Shuttle could still be seen around 11:09/11:10 pm CEST that night according to ESA.
Given the good visibility of the moon and the other planets/stars indicated as well as their seemingly reasonable height over the horizon, I just hoped I could eventually tonight see the Shuttle/ISS just over the horizon, since I could reasonably figure out its course as shown on the “sky map” from ESA (for Marseille) being a course between the two ‘lines’ Moon-Leo-Saturn-Venus and the horizon when seen from my place of observation.
In the end, I was wrong due to lack of experience, ESA was right (it was in the shadow and/or too far down under my horizon), and so I didn’t see what I had hoped for.
Instead, at approx.11:10 pm (+/- 3 minutes) CEST I saw all of a sudden a steady bright light close to the right side of the moon, as big as and a little brighter than Venus at that moment, moving to the right faster than a commercial airplane (for which I took it at first; too big, too bright, seemingly too far away, no blinking lights!) for close to 4 seconds until it suddenly disappeared (shadow?) and never turned up again. I had the impression it was going down in a slight right turn towards the earth (shadow?).
Its direction in more detail was when seen from my position: From close to the right moon surface towards the right (first horizontally) in a slightly changing direction (downward curvature) from like on a 16-min to an 18-min course (with moon as clockface), in the end with a slight even more downward (20-min) course when it disappeared as if switched off. Its roughly general direction was like opposed, i.e. facing the flight direction (under an estimated 12 degree angle) of the Shuttle/ISS as expected by me from the ESA “star map” (which at exactly the same time must have been in that area (approx. over Malaga, Spain), yet lower than my horizon (I assume that’s why I didn’t see it).
The so far unidentified object had the almost exact appearance of Venus by size and colour and was somewhat brighter than Venus was at that moment, it seemed to be ‘much closer’ in distance; no blinking lights, no re-appearance. The duration of its appearance was close to 4 seconds. In terms of ‘length’ of its course visible to me: It appeared out of the dark at little distance right of the moon’s right curvature (where I was staring at) to continue as a bright light for a distance that I would describe as being half of the distance I could recognize between Saturn and Venus from my position at that moment, with approx. 80% of its initial length in a 17-min directional mode, the rest directed more downward.