I'm hoping anyone knowledgable about rockets can help explain what I saw, or whether there are any Bay Area ATSers who saw what I saw last night.
I realize the SpaceX launch happened yesterday as well, but this occurred at 6:30pm PST.
I was admiring Orion in a clear, cloudless sky, looking east. I noticed a star that was obscured by what looked like a cloud. It could also be
described as a fuzzy star with a halo. This star was stationary as I watched it for a moment considering that it could possible be a plane flying
towards me, or if a rocket flying towards me, that would account for the 'cloud' appearing to surround it.
There were no blinking or navigational lights.
After a moment or two, however, it began traveling south to north (right to left) for a good 5 seconds. No lights, and the 'cloud' obscuring it did
not change shape, elongate, etc, as you would expect to see with a rocket which as turned. No contrail or anything like that. Just this fuzzy star
surrounded by its own little cloud.
After another good 5 seconds it grew brighter, clearer, and the cloud turned into a conical shape behind it, as you would see behind a rocket. It
continued its trajectory for another 10+ seconds and vanished. It didn't fade away in the distance or change direction. Just disappeared with no
trace of a contrail or anything.
What confuses me is that when it began to move it's 'cloud' didn't change shape indicating a turning rocket that had until that point appeared
stationary as it moved towards me.
And when the cone developed on the same trajectory the whole shebang just disappeared. Is this typical behavior for a rocket?
I apologize for the very poor quality of this image. It's a screenshot of the only 2 seconds of video I was able to capture. It was a disaster, and
one of those situations in which you realize you weren't recording as long as you thought you were.
The streetlamp on the right affected the focus of my phone and the zoom produced a very poor capture. But you can make it out with it's conical
'exhaust', dead center in the image. Phone lines to the right, roof to the left.
I'm posting it more to show that it happened, and it's general shape and placement in the sky and not really as evidence of anything other than
Thanks in advance for your thoughts!