Light, silent, made three stops and emitted red sparkling material from light to ground over a four minute span.On January 20, 2009 I took my dog behind my apartment before going to bed. I had just finished watching a PBS documentary. We stepped outside at 9:56 p.m. I put a white bandanna on my dog to see him in the dark. The dog going out was a nightly ritual. It was cold out and I was fully awake. I waited for him to make his rounds and return.To the South I witnessed a reddish-orange light low in the sky. I assumed it was a helicopter. It dropped something and sparks of red made their way from the light to the ground. I thought, "I hope whatever that is doesn't hit someone's house." I then watched it move from south to north towards me. I was waiting to hear the blades and engine of the helicopter. I heard nothing. The red light then proceeded to drop another sparkling type of light down toward the ground. I was relieved to see it do this again as I was not sure if I could believe my eyes the first time I saw it do this. The night was cold and there were ice crystals in the air; but this did not look like lighted crystals, it was different. It looked more like what a meteorite looks like as it falls to earth with a tail coming down. It did not make sense but I was just observing this taking place so I was not trying to make sense of it all.As it approached me it seemed to be higher in the night sky. I thought I heard an engine which relieved me as I then thought it had to be a helicopter. But, this noise was from a train in the area moving south to north. This light object did not make any observable sound. My dog was standing at my feet by the patio. I was worried that whatever was dropping might hit him or me so I stayed by the back door. I proceeded to put him inside. I then looked up and it started to drop another sparkly charge but this time I did not see the material come all the way down, it stopped almost upon starting to drop down. Maybe the position above me was wrong for viewing it to the ground? It then kept moving toward the northeast across the top of my apartment complex and I followed it as it moved. I rushed inside to get a binocular so that I could see what it actually was. This took fifteen seconds. As I came back out I did not see the light anymore in the sky. I walked north behind the apartment complex with the binoculars but could not relocate it in the sky. I then went inside. I watched television for another hour, as I always do until 11:00 p.m.As I thought about this it made no sense. The light, the sparkly discharge to the ground, the movement from south to northeast. It was all very nonsensical and hard to understand. I do not know what I witnessed? It is the first and hopefully last time I will witness something like this.