|Occurred : 5/19/2012 21:30 (Entered as : 05/19/12 21:30)
Reported: 5/23/2012 9:24:15 PM 21:24
Location: Fremont, OH
|2 bright orange fireballs seen 90 minutes apart, one with an apparent solid mass structure.
While sitting on the back deck of my house I frequently look into the night sky at the stars. An orange, what can only be described as “fireball”, caught my attention. I alerted the other 4 adults on the deck to what I was witnessing and they saw it clearly as well. I’ve witnessed the ISS and Iridium flares many times and this fireball was neither. What caught my attention as well was the trajectory it was taking, moving from the Southeast to Northwest, which is odd for most satellite movements I’ve witnessed over the years. It moved at a much slower speed than the ISS would, giving me the impression that if this was a satellite it was at a very high altitude. The fireball seemed to have a darker center than its surrounding orange haze and about 2 to 3 times the brightness of Venus over the past few months. Over the course of about 20 seconds the fireball slowly faded to a single point of light, no brighter than a typical satellite seen traversing the! skies, and then finally disappeared toward the horizon.
Then, 90 minutes later a second fireball appeared directly overhead and once again I alerted the event to the other 4 people on the deck. This fireball was much brighter and you could definitely tell the center was darker with this one. It had the same Southeast to Northwest trajectory. Again, over the course of about 30 seconds it started to fade out. But, unlike the first one, it did not fade out to a point of light but instead what appeared to be a black solid object with mass. My girlfriend was very intrigued by this fact as was I. I assumed both of these objects were space debris burning up in the atmosphere during a re-entry event. It had even crossed my mind that perhaps I was seeing the same object given the 90 minute time-span, about the time an object such as the ISS would take to make a complete orbit. But again, thinking about it the objects appeared to be moving too slow for that to be plausible.
Normally I would have just dismissed these sightings as possibly the most intense Iridium flares I have witnessed, burning debris or some sort of satellites I have not seen before. But, after discovering this web site and posting a report of something I saw back in the early 80’s I started reading about the number of fireball sightings since 2010 and thought perhaps my report would be relevant.