|Occurred : 6/9/2002 22:36 (Entered as : 06/09/02 22:36)
Reported: 6/9/2002 10:57:38 PM 22:57
Location: Bellingham, WA
|Extremely Bright Object Crosses Sky at Twilight (at least 2x brightness Sirius/planets)
When I got home at 10:30 06/09/02 I stood to have a cigarette on the front porch. My house faces north across the bay in Bellingham proper. Because of the city light pollution only a few of the brightest stars were out by this time, and quite dim. That is why I saw the object at once, it came over the roof of a house low on the north horizen. It was an extremely bright point of light, yellowish white. As it approached it became brighter. I am not good with the luminosity scale but it was definitly twice as bright as any of the planets or Sirius, and moving across the horizen quite fast. I assumed it was a satallite, although I have never seen one moving so fast, and fenitely never seen one so bright. As the object passed my position and began to move south, I noticed the trailing edge seemed to tail out slightly. The color or appearance did not change--it looked like a very, very bright star, moving very quickly. As soon as it passed over head I ran inside to get my roomate to see what he thought. In the 10 seconds it took me to run inside and get back out with him it was far to the south, still moving quickly. To the south lie mountains, but our view was abscured by rooftops. Before it dissapeared over them the object faded from extremely bright to very dim, and then faded from view. Chris (roomate) said it must have been a satallite, but I am not so sure. It faded from view a fair ways above the horizen. When I noticed it, it was just barely above the horizen to the north across the bay, and was extremely bright. When we saw it fade from view it was not even close to the horizen to the south, of which I am sure; the rooftop of our house is far above it and we were standing out in the front lawn. Perhaps the twilight can explain that behavior. I only make the report because of the extreme brightness and speed, I do not think a satellite could reflect so much light. The Space Station perhaps?
((NUFORC Note: Witness is correct. Probably the ISS. Please see the following URL at Heavens-Above.com: