View Full Version : Superbolide?

2005-Feb-04, 08:51 PM
This question is coming a little late, but last year I witnessed a large object in the night sky over North Mississippi. I was visiting a relative and noticed what at first looked like the moon. My relative looked up, hesitated and laughingly said he had lived there his whole life and the moon is supposed to be over there, pointing over his left shoulder. The object was as large as the moon with mixed colors similar to the moon seen thru overcast cloud cover with the sun's rays being reflected. It stayed stationary for about 1 minute and then slowly started to change positions and shape until it suddenly fragmented into many large fireballs and disapeared. I have been curious since then, but have not aked about the object online until now. I have not seen any pictures online which are even close to what we witnessed. Any ideas? Thanks.

2005-Feb-05, 02:48 AM
If you watched it for a minute, and it appeared to move slowly, then it is more likely to be a re-entry of a man made object than a meteor - objects in low earth orbit travel much more slowly than meteors.

Given the exact date, time and location, it might be possible to identify it, if that's what it was.

2005-Feb-08, 03:08 PM
Thanks for your reply, the object appeared mid-October, 2004 about 10:00 P.M. and if it hit ground would have hit somewhere between Tupelo and Iuka, MS close to the Natchez Trace.

2005-Feb-09, 01:19 AM
Let me see what info I can find in that time period. A bit more info that would be helpful...

Where were you when you saw it (as exactly as possible - lat and long would be nice, but a town name or something like that would be OK)? What direction was it from you? What direction did it appear to be moving? A more accurate date would be real handy, but I can check around that time...

Satelite and space junk re-entries are extremely difficult to predict accurately, and even after one re-enters, if no one saw it they can usually only say which orbit it was on when it came down (which gives you a narrow band all the way around the earth that's still possible) . However, they do know that narrow band, and if one that was about to decay went over your location...

2005-Feb-11, 07:11 PM
I very much appreciate your reply. Iuka, MS latitude:34.811n longitude:-88.19w. I contacted my relative to confirm my initial description and location of the fireball because there is interst in my description of the fireball as stationary and large in size. He confirmed that the object did appear to be stationary and did not appear to change shape or size for about 1 minute. It may have been falling toward our position, but did not change size or shape in that time. No telling how long the object was visible before we noticed it. The object did change size and shape slowly right before it fragmented into fireballs. The object was due West of Iuka and when it broke up, it fell to the North. It is hard to narrow down an exact date, but I do know there was a lot of reports of sightings of objects in the news immediately following our observation which I have been unable to pull back up for a date reference. The news reports are the reasons I initially dismissed the object as a superbolide, but obviously, I am not that knowledgable in this field. I would very much like to know what this object was. I have never seen or heard of anything like it before. Someone suggested a weather ballon is a possiblity and that makes a very likely suspect. Thank You