|Occurred : 5/25/2014 22:58 (Entered as : 05/25/14 22:58)
Reported: 5/25/2014 9:45:19 PM 21:45
Location: Tipton, IN
|I saw an object tracking SSE to NNW at spacecraft altitude and witnessed a thrust burst.
On 5/25/14 at 10:55 pm I stepped outside for a few as it was much cooler outside. I regularly watch aircraft from the back yard and track the ISS at its higher flight paths.
When I first seen the object, just a small light as bright as an average star, It was 70-80 degrees above the western horizon and 30 degrees south of due west, tracking SSE to NNW. I thought it might be the ISS because it was much to high (small) and fast to be a plane.
As it moved across the sky it seemed to disappear for a few seconds and then reappear as though there were clouds, There were no clouds! This happened three times from when I first saw it and when it reached a point about 40 degrees north of due west. It was then that the brightness increased exponentially, Bright white increasing the apparent size by at least ten times, this lasted about one second and it was out of my sight. The object never varied from it's track.
I then went to check ISS tracking information and found it couldn't have been that. I then checked satellite flight tracking. and found this info for today, [ Idefix and Ariane 42B 10:28:00 pm SSW 10:32:02 29°3.8 (dim)] This is 30 min. too early and way too low in the sky.
After thinking about it I believe what I saw was not the craft itself but rather the hot, burning exhaust gases. This would explain both the "disappearing" as the thrust was released and the increased brightness as extra thrust was applied. I don't know what it was but I would sure like to know.