NUFORC Sighting 2158

Occurred: 1997-03-31 21:00 Local
Reported: 1997-04-22 00:00 Pacific
Duration: approx 2hrs
No of observers: 2

Location: Juneau, AK, USA

Shape: Light

Summary : A friend and I saw a strange low altitude bright object flashing orange and green rotating colors on Easter night in Juneau,Alaska. When seen through my telescope (wewere looking at the comet and the planets),it had this strange light and dark light,pattern or field around and above it, likelight defraction patterns. No other starswere as low or had that effect. I could notsee colors with telescope. Only by naked eyeobservations.

I was visting a friend and she and I werelooking at the comet on Easter night andshe said hey, look at that satellite! I wasfacing north and I focused my Meade telescopeon it. It was flashing orange and green in arotating fashion...I then looked at itthrough my scope and to my surprise I couldntdetect the colors!Instead it had this really weird lightfield...of dark and bright lines above andaround a light defraction pattern.The object was really bright white with thosestrange lines going around it in a strangestriped pattern. The colors could not bedetected with the scope! I then thought itwas my lens so I focused on a bright star andthe patterns were not present on anything else!When I looked again with just my eyes I sawthe flashing rotating orange and green lightsbut when I used the scope, all I saw was thestrange dark and light patterns. It was lowin the sky, and stationary. I was facingnorth and it was to my right. I looked at itoff and on for about 2 hrs. while checkingout the comet and mars.I went home, I live a block away, and when Igot to my house and looked up again to find it,it was not there--to my right! I was stillfacing north. I looked to my left and thereit was! It was so close(low)that a one blockdrive was enough to move it over. So it meansit was positioned in between my friends houseand mine! I dont think high altitudegeosynchronistic satellites would be lowenough to cause that much of a difference ifI moved only a block away! Plus later, after2 days of clouds, it was no where to be seen!Ive never seen anything out of the ordinarybefore. I know what venus and mars and theother planets look like through my scope, soI'm sure it wasnt a planet!My friend saw the colored lights, cause shepointed it out to me, but she went intoher house while I stayed outside and lookedat the sky and the "object". It was too coldfor her! I didnt really think too much aboutthe strange erie lights until I got home andrealized that the object was WAY TOO LOW,cause it moved to my left, to be a satellitelike my friend first thought it was.

Posted 1998-03-07

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