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Fireball over Wash. makes 2 turns while being videotaped- Feds don't know what it is!

  1. Sep 12, 2006 #1
    The video:

    http://www.king5.com/sharedcontent/VideoPlayer/makeASX.php?title=www.king5.com/ki_091106skylight.wmv&adurl=adcontent/PGCharminPGCN016415s410K341505.wmv

    Hey, I just saw this video. It appears to be a fireball of some sort over Washington state. Pretty impressive from a layman's point of view, especially considering that it makes two turns while it is being video taped!

    What's even more interesting is that the reporter said neither the FAA or the Airforce picked it up on radar (or so they claimed) and could not tell the reporter what "it" was.

    At first, I thought it might be a meteor... but why would it make multiple turns during its fall?
    Then I thought it might be a plane's contrail reflecting the sunset, but why would the FAA and the AirForce say they didn't know what it was?

    Anyone want to take a stab at explaining this?

    Or at least explain how the FAA or the Airforce could not have picked this up on radar?
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2006
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 12, 2006 #2
    Someone, I can't recall who, suggested that these fireballs that change course are meteors composed of more than one material. When they heat up from atmospheric friction the more volatile material gassifies more rapidly and if a pocket of this is located on any lateral surface of the object it gives the whole a thrust in a direction other than the main trajectory.
     
  4. Sep 12, 2006 #3

    turbo

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    Well, it could perhaps have been incoming space-junk, and the turns could have been due to a changing aerodynamic profile as material was ablated away by the heat of re-entry. I don't know how feasible that idea is, but it's the best my little brain could come up with after seeing the video. I have seen countless meteors, and this was not a meteor. It had to be something with a large surface-area/mass ratio to permit the apparent "turning" if indeed the ablation idea has any legs at all.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2006
  5. Sep 12, 2006 #4

    DaveC426913

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    It seems to be moving rather slowly - particularly Earthward , which would also be explained by turbo's large surface-area/mass ratio proposal.
     
  6. Sep 12, 2006 #5
    [​IMG]
     
  7. Sep 12, 2006 #6
    That was very cool, I have no idea what it was. lol cyrusabdollahi!
     
  8. Sep 12, 2006 #7
    Interesting. I'd like to find out if a space-junk with a "large surface-area/mass ratio" like this gets picked up by the FAA and AirForce radars? I'd think so, but I'm not an expert by any means.

    Hmm, perhaps the space junk is from a top secret satellite reconnaissance program that the military doesn't want to talk about openly? Brb, someone's knocking on my door.
     
  9. Sep 12, 2006 #8

    Moonbear

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    Of course, there's also the possibility that the FAA or Airforce DID pick it up on radar, but its identity is classified, so they won't admit to it.

    Unfortunately, that video is too pixelated (the entire clip, not just the video of the object) and the video of the object too shaky to determine much. If someone finds a better resolution video to share of it, that might be more helpful.
     
  10. Sep 13, 2006 #9

    Ivan Seeking

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  11. Sep 13, 2006 #10
    :rofl: Yeahhh,....right. Why hasnt anyone ever photographed a simliar effect before? I've seen contrails, but never one like this. Nor have I ever seen a photograph of a contrail 'illuminated' like this.

    If its true, I'd like to see photographs of simliar cases with other airplanes. There should be dozzens of pictures of it, right? Those airplanes fly over the same spot every day in similar weather conditions....things dont add up to me. :confused:

    If it is a contrail, why did the FAA not pick it up as an airliner? That's not good....
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2006
  12. Sep 14, 2006 #11

    Ivan Seeking

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  13. Oct 15, 2006 #12

    Ivan Seeking

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