Re: Missile/Rocket seen from near Dayton Nevada.

From: George Roberts via Seesat-l <seesat-l_at_satobs.org>
Date: Wed, 3 Jan 2018 10:05:34 -0500
I don't think there were any orbital rocket launches jan 1 or jan 2 
2018(note that 5pm PST January 1 is January 2 in UT so that's why I 
mention both dates as a launch then may be listed as Jan 2).  Most 
launches visible from the USA are from the East coast (Florida, 
Virginia).  Rockets tend to be visible only for about 10 minutes at the 
most (because then the motor shuts down) and would have to launch within 
about 500 miles of your location to ever be straight overhead an observer.

SpaceX does do launches from Vandenberg air force base in California.  
They tend to head directly to the west over the ocean and should not 
have been remotely straight up as seen from Nevada.  This is "anti spin" 
- it takes more energy to go to the west as the earth is already 
spinning the other way so east coast launches are preferred.

What does "direction north-west" mean?  It went from north to west?  It 
went towards northwest?  Anyway it sounds like if it was a rocket it was 
going mainly straight up which means it wasn't orbital.  Orbital 
launches go "sideways".

Maybe a sounding rocket?  These usually go straight up and (roughly) 
straight down.

Note that high clouds after sunset can exhibit pretty amazing effects.  
So maybe extremely high clouds that are changing in the wind and also 
are changing as the suns light moves upwards such that you see less and 
less of the cloud over the course of time.

Anyway a rocket launch at night where the rocket is in sunlight can be 
pretty spectacular and doesn't look much like what you describe.  Unless 
the sun had been down for a few hours.  here's what I'm talking about:

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/01/science/2018-spacex-moon.html

Regarding stages of rockets landing on people - for orbital launches, by 
the time the first stage separates it's going so fast downrange that it 
will typically travel many hundreds of additional miles over the ocean 
before landing.  That's why most launches are on the east coast - they 
head eastward and stages land far out in the atlantic.  West coast 
launches head west.

- George


On 01/03/2018 02:41 AM, KD7JYK DM09 via Seesat-l wrote:
> Another thing my daughter and I got to thinking about this afternoon 
> is that this rocket/missile was dropping boosters, or stages over 
> land/inhabited areas, which I don't think would be the norm.
>
> No information on any lists/groups, nothing in the news or various 
> online schedules.
>
> Anyone at all have any ideas?
>
> Kurt
>
>
> On 1/1/2018 17:42, KD7JYK DM09 via Seesat-l wrote:
>> January 1st, 2018, 1701h, Pacific time.
>>
>> My girl was out running this evening and came in very excited to let 
>> me know about the Super-Moon coming over the horizon.  As we watched 
>> it, I looked overhead to see a brilliant blue/white light, similar in 
>> color to the new LED motorcycle headlamps, and very large in size.  
>> We initially thought it was a planet, then realized it was moving.  
>> Then I thought it may be a project similar to the google balloon.  I 
>> ran into the house to get binoculars and a camera and when I came 
>> out, the previously round spot of light was now a fat arc, similar in 
>> the appearance of seeing an umbrella from the side. We watched as it 
>> became a long brilliant line, like a vapor trail, then separated into 
>> two brilliant points of blue-white light with the trail between them. 
>> We watched for another ten seconds or so as the points of light and 
>> trail diminished, then suddenly went out entirely, as though turning 
>> off a light.  From Dayton, Nevada, the vehicle was almost directly 
>> overhead, perhaps slightly east, direction was very much North-West.
>>
>> Nothing seen or heard on the groups/lists/schedules.
>>
>> Ideas?
>>
>> Kurt
>>
>

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Received on Wed Jan 03 2018 - 09:06:25 UTC

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