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Mounds, Oklahoma (United States)

Sighted on Monday 29. December 2008
Reported on
Shape: Sphere | Duration: 00:01:00
Source:

Dec. 29, 20087-7:30 PM CDT, approx.Astronomy Club of TulsaRMCC ObservatoryMounds, OkAn unusual sighting occurred this evening around 7 ��� 7:30 PM. There were several club members, Astronomy Club of Tulsa, at the club���s observatory tonight to take advantage of the very good clear sky along with the early setting of a lovely crescent moon. It was a great night for observing!I had stopped to get a cup of coffee and was talking with a friend. I was facing East when out of nowhere an extremely bright light appeared in the East. It was located at an approximate altitude of 50 degrees and was directly between the constellations Auriga and Orion, directly above Canis Minor. When it first appeared, just below Elnath in Auriga, it was extremely bright, equivalent to if not brighter than Venus. Venus���s magnitude tonight was at -4.3, which should give you a rather obvious idea as to its brightness. At first sight the first quick thought that came to mind was the possible passing of an Iridium satellite. But no, even those don���t just pop up out of nowhere. You can always find them and then watch as they brighten up and continue on their marry way until they dim out completely. Simple info for these is easily accessed and in so doing you would know both the time it will appear as well as what direction it will be coming from and going to. The same holds true for the ISS. Can find it on its orbital track and then watch it as it passes getting brighter and then dimming out to nothing when it finally crosses the terminator. This one wasn���t anything like either of what I���ve just described. Extremely bright and had one strobe light on top. From it���s initial point of appearance it dropped straight down to within what I would estimate as three or four degrees above the star Gomeisa in Canis Minor. From that point it stopped coming straight down and began to slowly dim as it suddenly was heading straight East. The strobe on top was in it���s own right unusual due to there not being any position lights or anti-collision lights visible. It���s very commonplace to all of us to see private planes, airliners even military aircraft flying around at night while we���re observing out at the club���s observatory. On rare occasion we get the pleasure of seeing a blimp or even an ultra-light but they never look like what was seen tonight. Private planes, easily determined as to what they are from not only the position light configuration, common amongst all aircraft along with the common sound/noise from their engines. This object produced absolutely no sound of any kind. Nope, not a meteor, no way, meteors don���t have strobes. It was considered that it may have been a plane and due to its distance from us we may not have been able to hear it. Perhaps so but . . . Since it was heading directly away from us it only seems logical that we would���ve stood at least half a chance to hear its engines and also make out it���s position lights (red, green). Unfortunately, no to all of those possibilities were provided by whatever it was. What is most unusual is that it simply appeared out of nothing. If it were a plane, well, they don���t have backup light���s which it would���ve had to have to remain bright as it was moving away from us. Not only this but airliners, private planes and military transports or otherwise don���t have a circular/ball shape fuselage to begin with. It remained in this form until it was out of sight in the East. Airliners and large military transports landing lights are bright but nowhere near the brightness level that was initially displayed by whatever this happened to be. It remained in sight for about thirty seconds at the most until it was finally gone over the eastern horizon. Again, very unusual, most certainly not anything like what we���ve seen time after time in this area. Most generally it���s rather easy to see a plane and know what it is ��� especially at night.Once it had disappeared, jokingly, I told my friend we had just witnessed an AURORA coming in out of orbit and heading back east to Wright-Patterson AFB. An obvious reaction after seeing something that we had no idea as to what it was.Have you ever heard of any type aircraft appearing such as I���ve described? If so, it will be a new one to all of us here. If not, we haven���t the slightest idea as to what it may have been.

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