|Occurred : 9/2/2011 01:14 (Entered as : 09/02/11 01:14)
Reported: 9/2/2011 2:32:58 AM 02:32
Location: Sacramento, CA
|3 bright white lights streak across sky in triangular formation, leave bright trail.
I just got back from a run on the track of North Del Rio School Park in Sacramento CA. At 1:14am Pacific time on 09-02-2011 I was on the north side of the track facing east (approximately 38.621686,-121.452999 according to Google). I had just finished my run, and was looking up to stretch my neck. I was looking at the sky and what I saw amazed me. From out of nowhere appeared three white lights clustered closely together in the orientation of a triangle pointing upward from my perspective. In the span of about a second, perhaps a little bit less, the three lights, maintaining their position relative to each other, streaked across the sky from south to north.
The lights left a very bright streak of light across the sky. Actually they left three distinct streaks, one from each light. The streaks were very close together, and so they blended a bit, but I could still distinguish three separate streaks of light.
It's difficult to gauge distance, especially since I am not sure how high up the object was in the sky. But it was close to the Big Dipper in my field of view, so I can say that it traveled about 2.5 to 3 times the width of the Big Dipper's cup. It started about two cup widths to the south of the Big Dipper, and streaked north crossing the Big Dipper's cup then disappeared instantaneously. The streaks remained in the sky just a fraction of a second longer, then also disappeared. The three lights, and the streaks that trailed from them, where extremely bright; brighter than any star in the sky. I would have taken this for some sort of shooting star, except that I could distinctly make out three points of light giving me the impression of thrusters, like those on the back of the Space Shuttle. I would like to make clear that I could not see the shape of the craft, and I do not think that the triangular formation of lights represents the shape of the craft itself. Rather I suspect that the triangular light formation represented the craft's propulsion component only. The shape of the rest of the craft is unknown.
There was no sound, and it lasted just a second at the most. I continued to walk around the track for about five more minutes, but I saw nothing further of note in the sky, so I headed home. Once again, it's very hard for me to gauge size or elevation of the object, but the three lights occupied a space that would have fit in the circumference of a dime, or nickel perhaps, from my perspective. And if I had to guess, I'd say it would have had to be up around 18,000ft a least. If I'm right about the altitude, and I may not be, then the size of the object would have to be rather large to occupy the circumference of a dime. While the probability seems remote, since the phenomenon was so brief, I'd be very curious to know if anyone else has had a similar sighting.
Relevant background: Student Pilot