|Occurred : 7/25/2009 21:30 (Entered as : 7/25/09 21:30)
Reported: 7/27/2009 10:44:09 AM 10:44
Location: Gridley, IL
|Multiple Moving Stars in Rural IL
Myself and three other males were relaxing on the back porch following my niece’s birthday party on Saturday July 25, 2009. While sitting in our lawn chairs, facing due east, we were scanning the sky but no really looking for anything. It was relatively clear night with just a few low level clouds. After a short period of time (15 minutes) a bright object was observed traveling in a south east direction. The object appeared to be twice as large as Venus, moving very fast (twice as fast an airplane) and dimmed in brightness as it’s distance from us increased. We assumed it was the ISS with the docked shuttle Endeavor. This initial sighting was approximately 30 minutes after sunset.
From that point onward we observed multiple lights exhibiting various levels of brightness and speed. Our observations lasted until approximately 10:30pm CST. We assumed that the lights we saw were satellites in orbit. If this is the correct explanation what explains the variable brightness, speed, and the large number of objects? The path of the objects appeared random. Some traveled directly north, while others traveled east, south, west, and varying combinations. More than one object exhibited brightness variations even though the sun had set one hour before.
The objects were star like and fast. In one case a commercial airliner was flying due west and was overtaken (as viewed from our perspective) by one of the star like objects flying in the same direction. Our interpretation was that the smaller object was at a substantially higher altitude ... possibly low earth orbit. At one point we saw four objects moving in separate directions.
((NUFORC Note: ISS sighting. Satellites are different sizes, and have different albedos. PD))