|Occurred : 11/16/1999 18:25 (Entered as : 11/16/99 18:25)
Reported: 11/17/1999 08:20
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
|Erratic bright pinpoint of light fading to red before disappearing
Last night, 11/16/99, at about 6:25pm EST, I observed a white light about the same color and size of the planet Jupiter and perhaps a bit brighter. The light traveled in a southwest to north east direction across an arc of the sky roughly equal to the apparent distance between the tip of my thumb and the tip of my outstretched forefinger at arms length. The light seemed to follow a slightly meandering path, though that might have been an optical illusion (I’ve noticed that the eye is often fooled when trying to follow the path of blinking lights, like a distant airplane, at night. While this light was not blinking, the same effect might have been occurring here.)The light started out bright white and gradually faded to a tiny dull red point before disappearing completely. In total the object was in view for 7-10 seconds. In my opinion it was moving too slow for a typical meteor. It also lacked the characteristic streak of a meteor. This light was a distinct pinprick of light throughout the observation. It actually resembled a satellite, but the fading effect and the apparent erratic course was unlike any satellite I’ve ever seen. Thinking it was an airplane, I made a conscious effort to discern strobes. There were none. I am 42 years old, work in marketing at a major national corporation, and have no bad habits that affect my powers of observation. I am an experienced outdoorsman with a better than average familiarity with aerial and astronomical phenomena.