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Bright Blue Flash and Burning Blue Object in Night Sky - PA

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posted on Oct, 10 2009 @ 01:31 AM
I'm not sure if this is the correct forum or not but this is the best I could figure out. I finally got home from one of the most crazy experiences in my life.

My friend and I were out looking over the nearby lake here in Northeastern Pennsylvania, something we do all of the time, It was foggy and raining and visibility was low. No stars, moon, ect.

We were sitting like any normal night, talking about stuff when all of a sudden at 12:32 AM, the sky around us faded to a bright blue in the span of 2-3 seconds. It was bright enough that we were able to see the houses on the other side of the lake and each other perfectly clearly. As our eyes travels we noticed the source of the light and were dumbfounded. There in the sky in a slow slanted decent was a giant blue flame with a large black silhouette in the middle.

It descended for about 2-3 more seconds before it reached the mountain line. When it did it emitted a HUGE bright blue flash in addition to the light already and it was almost blinding in the night sky. We both heard the distinct sounds of flames and then crackling. We listened for some sort of sound of impact but none came.

I want to know if there is any solid explanation for this. I have heard of meteorite being like this before, however, I have never seen any images of ones this big before, and never had believed I would see something like this in my lifetime. The fact that it wasn't completely shrouded in flames but rather the flames were wrapped around the object baffled me as well. Most images and videos of meteorites I see are completely solid in flames but this was clearly visible.

We drove around for while in the area but we were unable to find anything, however it could have been farther away. Due to the size of it in our vision we figured that it had to be very close.

Thanks ahead of time all.

posted on Oct, 10 2009 @ 01:38 AM
what part of pennsylvania? im from nepa (currently in cali) and id like to have a family member check into it. they are in wilkes-barre, and lake ariel .

[edit on 10-10-2009 by onequestion]

posted on Oct, 10 2009 @ 01:42 AM
reply to post by onequestion

I am from southern Schuylkill County, no real big cities near me or anything, the closest being Lebanon, Reading, and Harrisburg.

posted on Oct, 10 2009 @ 03:18 PM
It sounds like you saw a big fireball.

All the characteristics you listed are consistent with a meteor. This one must have been particularly bright for you to see through rain/fog/clouds, and you were lucky to see it, as events like this are fairly rare, although they do happen from time to time.

Usually what happens when a relatively large rock (meteoroid) enters the atmosphere, is that when it gets down to a certain altitude, where the air becomes much denser, the forces involved cause the object to disintegrate. That is what would have caused the bright flash you saw at the end.

This would usually occur at least 40km in altitude, and any surviving rocks would rain down on the ground below, unseen by anyone since they would have lost the velocity needed for them to remain luminous (small objects have much less momentum than large objects, so air-resistance slows them down much more rapidly than it does large objects).

The sounds you describe are also consistent with a meteor. Here is some good info on electrophonic meteor sounds as they are called. There is much we still do not understand about the mechanisms involved, although there are some promising theories.

It would be good if you could submit a report with one of these organizations as it sounds as though there is a very good chance that meteorite fragments made it down to the ground, and recovering them may be a possibility if others saw this fireball or if it was captured on one of the all-sky camera networks that were set up to capture events like this:
American Meteor Society Fireball Reporting Form
International Meteor Organization The site is down at the time of writing, but you should be able to find a link to their fireball report form quite easily from the home page.

A bright meteor (possibly not quite as bright as yours) was caught on just such an all-sky camera in New Mexico a few days ago, and you can find a video of the event here.

The length of your sighting would suggest that what you saw was a small asteroid, rather than part of a comet since cometary material has a relative velocity that usually much greater than that of asteroidal objects. Since they are comparatively slow, and also made of denser/less fragile material, asteroids stand a chance of penetrating quite deep into our atmosphere before they either self destruct or are slowed down to the point at which they are no longer luminous, after which they fall to the ground, usually reaching it traveling no more than 200-300 km/h.

The initial velocity at the time of atmospheric entry would usually be somewhere in the region of 10-40 km/s, in the case of asteroidal material.

[edit on 10-10-2009 by C.H.U.D.]

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