Reported: 2002-07-17 20:57 Pacific
Duration: 1-2 min
No of observers: 4
Location: Taylorville, IL, USA
bright, white circular light
Iridium flare? Just after midnight a bright white light appeared in the sky, travelling steadily east to west. It was circular in shape and about as big as a dime held at arms length. It appeared to wobble slightly in its' path, but this may have been an optical illusion because of the flaring effect of the light. It was difficult to judge the altitude because it was all out of proportion to the normal things you see in the sky. There was no sound and it just disappeared beyond the trees. None of us had ever seen anything like this before and I have spent many an hour with my telescope 'star gazing' and consider myself fairly knowledgeable about astronomy. However, I had never heard of iridium flares before- might this explain what we saw? It did not appear to be as high in the sky as satellites are though. Are iridium flares that big? There is a small airport nearby, but it is a daytime only operation.
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