|Occurred : 7/4/2010 21:40 (Entered as : 07/04/10 21:40)
Reported: 7/11/2010 6:23:23 AM 06:23
Location: Franklin, PA
|Orange, circular light with steady motion that "winked out."
On Sunday, 4 July, 2010, at approximately 9:40 p.m., in Samuel Justice Park, Franklin, Pennsylvania. I was in the park with my family for the city of Franklin fireworks display. As usual, there were small aircraft occasionally flying overhead and several private fireworks displays going off nearby.
I pointed out to my wife a steady, orange light in the sky, slightly smaller than Venus, in the west. The object was moving at a steady rate from west to east, unblinking, without changing apparent direction. After watching it for about 5 seconds, the light "winked out" and very briefly returned to view, continuing its course, before "winking out" again. The sky was not yet fully dark, but the light source of the object was distinct and bright. The "winking out" seemed to be consistent with a 90-degree turn along the plane of sight, but there was no continuation of sight after the second "winking" episode. The light did not flash, nor were there any standard airplane colored lights (red, green, or white) associated with it. I am unable to judge the distance of the object or its actual size. In shape it appeared to be circular, perhaps because of distance.
I have taken courses in astronomy and have seen many satellites and meteors over the years. This object was too bright to be a satellite; it was not yet dark enough and the ambient light should have been sufficient to block a satellite from view. The sudden "winking out" was inconsistent with a satellite. It moved too slowly to be a meteor.