|Occurred : 2/26/2006 18:30 (Entered as : 02/26/06 18:30)
Reported: 3/1/2006 8:26:24 AM 08:26
Location: Santa Fe, NM
|brilliant light skids low across sky without a sound
I was outside at dusk and looked up to see the stars, as it was just then dark enough. Saw a very bright light moving overhead at a good clip; about as fast as a low-flying aircraft appears to move. Thought initially that the light was the landing spotlight of an aircraft but there was (a) no noise whatsoever and (b) the light was unaccompanied by the blinking red and green id lights common to aircraft. Also the light remained steady for the duration of the sighting.
The light was approximately magnitude -5 or possibly -6; it was distinctly brighter than venus, and a yellowish-white in color.
The light displayed a peculiar sort of sliding motion in additon to its forward vector as it crossed the sky from west to east in about 2 minutes. (we have a big sky in New Mexico). By sliding I mean that it appeared to move slightly north as it travelled eastward, but to do so in a way that made it seem it was an ancilliary to its primary motion eastward. It's hard to describe, but it was like when the wind is perpendicular to the road and it makes your car veer slightly as you're driving. But I the skidding motion of this light was constant and did not seem to vary with the gusting wind that evening.
I have seen the ISS and this did not resemble it at all, being far brighter and apparently closer, and moving faster, as my wife who also saw the tail end of the sighting confirmed. Nor did it look like a balloon reflecting the setting sun, as the light was constant throughout the minutes it took to cross the sky, fading out only after it had gone far to the east almost to the horizon, and this was 10 or 15 minutes after sunset. It was also moving far faster than I've ever seen a balloon move, even in high wind. (And the International Balloon Fiesta is about 60 miles north in Albuquerque every year, so I've seen my share of balloons.)