Occurred: 1999-08-15 23:18 Local
Reported: 1999-09-08 00:00 Pacific
Duration: 4 sec.
No of observers: 1

Location: Bosque, NM, USA

Characteristics: Left a trail, Emitted other objects, Changed Colo

Bright bluish-greenish-white light trail splitting into multiple radians

Bright luminous single streak of bluish-greenish tinted white light traveled for about two full moon diameters and then appeared to rupture into about ten radians of light, seemingly intensifying in blue-green color (not brightness). The length of travel of the radian segment of the event was also about two full moon diameters.the event occurred sometime around 11:15 PM on the 15th of August,99. I do not know the time to the exact minute, but the program I was watching on TV was about half way into the 1st half-hour segment when I went outside to see what our dog was barking for. It was then that I saw the event.

Measurement by protractor revealed the event to have been centered about 25-30 degrees above the western horizon in azimuth, and compass measurement revealed its heading to be 320 to 325 degrees magnetic. The total event lasted no more than 4 seconds. Because of the position of some tree branches, I was able to make these measurements to plus or minus 2.5 degrees of accuracy.

I am a dentist by profession, and also hold an FAA Airline Pilot Certificate, with over 6,800 hours of flight time. Much of the flight time is night time, and due to various situations I have driven thousands of hours at night, and I have an abiding interest in the night sky; as such I have seen hundreds of meteors. I have never seen one like this one. Though difficult to put into words, this one had a deciedly different character to it. It is almost as if the event took place in slow motion. The width of the streak was much wider compared to its length than any other that I have ever observed, by quite a proportion.



For video footage of the event, captured by the Sandia National Laboratory sky camera in Albuquerque, please see the following URL:



Posted 2002-07-01

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