|Occurred : 9/21/2008 19:59 (Entered as : 09/21/08 19:59)
Reported: 9/21/2008 8:16:36 PM 20:16
Location: Galesburg, IL
|An unusually bright light moved across the sky and disappeared about 30 degrees off the horizon.
I was standing in the back yard of my house testing-out a new green laser pointer, pointing it at the stars to observe the beam in the air. I had been doing this for a couple of minutes when i was startled to see a very bright object moving overhead. It seemed to be moving quite quickly towards the spot in the sky where I had pulsed the laser a few seconds earlier. Thinking that it was a plane, I was worried that I might have distracted the pilot, as I am always careful to avoid pointing my laser at aircraft. As I continued to observe the light as it moved from overhead towards the northeast, I became puzzled because the light did not look like a regular plane or helicopter. It was much brighter than any star in the sky. It was slightly yellow, about the same color as the sun at midday. It made no sound. Its motion reminded me of that of a satellite, with no obvious changes in direction or speed relative to the stars. I watched it for about a minute until it was about 30 degrees above the northeast horizon, at which point the light disappeared. The light appeared to go from full brightness to dark in under 2 seconds, and had the appearance of "flattening out" from top to bottom just before I could no longer see it. I interpreted this as the kind of behavior one would expect from a satellite moving into the earth's shadow. This was *much* brighter than any artificial satellite I have ever seen.