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National UFO Reporting Center Sighting Report
Occurred : 12/22/2013 00:30 (Entered as : 12/22/13 00:30)
Reported: 12/22/2013 2:09:36 AM 02:09
Posted: 12/23/2013
Location: San Rafael, CA
Shape: Light
Duration: 10 minutes
Not sure what this group of lights were?

On Dec 22, 2013 at approximately 1230 am weather conditions: wind calm from the north, barometer 30.12, visibility 10 mi, humidity 100%, temperature 37degrees, a waning gibbous moon. I had gone out to my washroom to retrieve a forgotten laundry load. Exiting the house to enter the laundry room, I glanced to the east ward sky and noticed a warm bright star close to the moon. I stopped to get bearings noticed it was in the constellation of Leo and the stars didnít fit. Then I noticed 4 others brighten and gently bob in the sky. I thought at first that maybe this was an Iridium flare. So I ran back into the house and grabbed both cell phones and began videoing the spectacle. As I came out into the back yard the objects were moving slowly to the west towards the moon. I then noticed 5 new lights rising from the east through the Coma Berniceís. For a total of 9 lights. They continued rising gently from the east in a westerly direction toward the moon. The first group of 4 winked out individually and at different times. The second group continued to rise, not in orbital arcs, but in a gentle bobbling. Unlike satellites, commercial planes or light aircraft. At about ten minutes after the first sighting, The second group winked out to the north east of the moon.

Checking the Heavenís Above website, there were no satellites in the area at that time. I have realized that it is the winter solstice. And these could be Chinese sky lanterns released in a celebration of that.

I consider myself an amateur astronomer. I have seen many things in the sky. These I havenít seen this before.