|Occurred : 9/22/2008 20:28 (Entered as : 09/22/08 20:28)
Reported: 9/22/2008 11:51:01 PM 23:51
Location: Corvallis, OR
|White hot glowing object directly overhead illuminates the wall of apartment building.
9/22/08, 8:28 PM, Corvallis, OR. Sky perfectly clear and moonless with Jupiter bright in the southern sky.
I was carrying groceries from my car to my apartment and was not watching the sky when suddenly, a flash of white light from above caused me to look skyward. I saw a white hot, incandescent object with blue and red tinges of color at its center and a short tail of sparks directly overhead. The object and the glow surrounding it were about the size of a saucer held at arm’s length against the sky. Its speed was a bit faster than meteors I’ve observed in the past. The object passed to the west behind the roof of my apartment building where I could no longer see it. When I rounded the corner of the building, it had disappeared altogether. I assumed it burned out while beyond my field of vision. The sighting lasted about 2 seconds.
I immediately concluded I had seen a meteor, but the altitude of the object was surprising. It appeared to be much closer to the earth's surface than meteors I’ve observed in the past, including the spectacular meteor shower I saw in August, 1993, that resulted from some vaporization of the Swift-Tuttle comet core. This object seemed so close that I initially thought it might be some type of firework launched from the nearby neighborhood. I was concerned the object was going to touch down somewhere nearby. (I realize that altitude is difficult to judge when there is no other backdrop than the stars at great distances in a black sky.) There was absolutely no sound that preceded my sighting the object and no sound when it flashed and then passed overhead. When directly above me, the object was so bright that it illuminated the wall of my apartment building.
I’m assigning my sighting to a meteor, but the object had a couple of characteristics that were not meteor-like. I’m filing this report in the event that anyone else in my vicinity observed the object and reports it.