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Big red ball in the sky?

  1. Jan 31, 2010 #1
    When I was very young I got up out of bed, in the middle of the night, and looked out the window and saw this big bright red ball of light in the sky. I'm 58 now so it is very hard to remember but I have never seen it again and I have never found anything reported that looked like it. It flashed on for a few seconds and off and I believe there were other balls of light with different colors also.

    Looking up to the sky with out moving your eyes it took up a good part of the sky, like in the movies, that big harvest moon.

    Can anyone shed light on this.

  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 1, 2010 #2


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    So long ago, the memory can get fuzzy or even more vivid.

    The only thing I can think of that remotely qualifies as a big red ball is the moon during a lunar eclipse.
  4. Feb 2, 2010 #3

    Ivan Seeking

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    That was my thought as well. Also, maybe an internally lit blimp or balloon. Maybe a bolide?

    Any additional information would be helpful in providing some guesses. Was it moving; if so, how fast? How long did you see it? Was it cloudy out? Where were you at the time?
  5. Feb 6, 2010 #4
    It was a flash of red light. It was circular. I would say about two to three seconds. Way too big to be an abject. It didn't move. I would say it took up a quarter of the sky. I have checked the Internet for years now looking for something that looked like it to no avail. Ball lightening and northern lights don't come close. This was very bright, large and circular.
  6. Feb 6, 2010 #5

    Ivan Seeking

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    That almost sounds like it may have been a meteor coming right at you. The flashes could have been the meteor breaking up and burning up.
  7. Feb 6, 2010 #6
    That's a good explanation. Meteors can be very bright for just a few seconds. I once saw one on a sunny day, and it was much brighter than the moon. It broke into two pieces before disappearing. And about one minute later I heard what sounded like thunder, possibly a sonic boom or the sound of it breaking up.
  8. Feb 7, 2010 #7


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    A meteor entering the earth's atmosphere and exploding or breaking up does seem to explain this anomaly you saw. If it was directly overhead you'd see what you are describing. Around 50 years ago there were very few if any satellites so there's a very low chance it was space debris re-entering. Possible alternative is a super-nova but they last longer than a few seconds and there would be a record of it happening.
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