|Occurred : 6/20/2012 23:30 (Entered as : 20 June 12 23:30)
Reported: 6/21/2012 7:10:23 PM 19:10
Location: Fairfax, CA
|Light orange sphere periodically brightening and dimming
21Jun2012 23:30 to 23:52 Pacific time I was looking from my house in Fairfax [37 deg 59' N 122 deg 36' ; elevation: 438 ft ASL] to the east [94 deg magnetic, not adjusted for magnetic deviation] about 4 degrees to the right of Mt. Diablo from my position. [Mt Diablo is about 3,400 ft], and the elevation of object appeared 1000-1500 ft higher, but seemed closer than Diablo, on a line passing through Berkeley towards Livemore.
Total observation time: 23:30 to 23:52.
Weather: clear with slight haze near horizon. No moon.
Object appeared yellow orange over approximately Berkeley [but could have been as far as Livermore], no blinking lights. Observed it with Bausch&Lomb 20x80 binoculars on a tripod, switching to camera every few minutes. Photographed [and viewed] through open window with 12x optical zoom 10 MP Lumix [full zoom], on highest resolution [3072 x 2304 Pixels (7.08 MPixels) (4:3 aspect ratio)] , hand-held but steadied against window frame, on setting: 'scene; night'. One picture I deliberately 'streaked' the image by slight hand movement, to obtain additional light information such as other colors, blinking lights, etc.
Object was nearly stationary, barely moving to SW. Object brightness slowly varied [not consistently though] over 20 seconds to 30 intervals from full brightness to invisibility [could not see it in the 20x80 either], then slowly brightening again over 20 to 30 secs. Color varied from light orange to medium orange. Object was a little fuzzy, even though 20x80 binocs were in sharp focus (which I checked a couple times; binoculars have separate left and right eye focus.) Addendum: There's a lot of air traffic in the Bay area; there's the SF airport and the Oakland airport. I see all kinds of planes, and they always have blinking lights associated with them, Nor are they a steady light orange color with no additional blinking lights. The object was higher than the general [incoming/outgoing] air traffic. Object finally disappeared behind a hill in my foreground. At full brightness, it was about like Venus or Jupiter, but light orange in color. At it's dimmest, it was not visible at all even when viewing through the 20x80 binoculars. There was no noticable change in elevation, nor was there any sudden changes of position or speed.
Possible conclusion: internally lit blimp, though this might be unlikely since, a) there were no navigation lights that I could discern b) it was operating so close to Oakland airport [class C] and San Francisco airport [class B].
The images I sent to you are direct copies from the camera's card.
736: deliberate streak to obtain more light information 739: about to fade from view 742: brightest part of brightness cycle.
743: about half way through brightness cycle