|Occurred : 3/23/2018 20:35 (Entered as : 03/23/18 20:35)
Reported: 3/23/2018 6:24:08 PM 18:24
Location: Tampa, FL
|Unexplained Lights in Night Sky North of Tampa.
My wife and I were walking through the parking lot of the Pepin Center in Tampa, Florida, when I pointed out to her two lights in the north-northeast sky at approximately 20 degrees from the horizon.
They were about the size and intensity of brightness as Sirius. They were a thumb's distance apart and stationary. I pointed out to my wife that I didn't know of any constellation with stars that bright in the north sky in the Tampa area at this or any other time of the year. After about a minute, the two stationary lights dimmed and then disappeared.
Thoroughly perplexed as to what these were - - they were not satellites, meteorites, rockets/missiles,or aircraft landing lights. Their altitude and actual size was impossible to determine.
((ADDENDUM FROM WITNESS))
Good evening Mr. Davenport:
It's an honor to hear from you!
I am very familiar with the landing lights of all manner of aircraft. I am both an aviation and astronomy buff and am well acquainted with both spheres of study.
Within moments after this sighting, I did see a commercial airliner (by engine sound and configuration of landing and navigation lights, likely an Airbus A-319 or A-320 series or a Boeing 737) at about 5,000' AGL commencing a downwind (heading south for a north landing on Runway 35R) approach to Tampa International Airport(KTPA). That aircraft was due west when I spotted it - - I did wonder if anyone in it on its port side might have seen these two lights, but I suspect the lights were possibly too high and too far north to be seen in the field of vision of those in the cabin - - I would love to know if someone did and was thinking that then!).
The color of these lights was not typical of the landing lights of any aircraft that I have seen - - they were the same color, hue and intensity of self illuminated stars or reflective sunlight on satellites. Although aircraft landing lights can and will often appear stationary, based on distance from, and the heading of, aircraft, such light inevitably moves or grows in intensity as it heads toward you. Landing lights are seen either coming toward you or from the side, but would not be seen heading heading away from you.
My initial thought after knowing that these lights were not a normal part of the night sky for this part of the year was that they were satellites - - the major problem being that both of them did not move for several minutes but remained stationary. Their fade out took about 5 seconds and was gradual and simultaneous - - both my wife and I were flummoxed by what we saw.
If you have any other questions, please feel free to e-mail or call me at