Decay Sighting in Northern Queensland Australia?

From: Michael MacDonald (michael@starclass.com.au)
Date: Tue Jul 04 2000 - 23:01:06 PDT

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    Hi,
    
    I received a phone call from a person in Millaa Millaa, Northern
    Queensland, Australia in relation to a fireball she saw on July 1 at 6.10pm
    local time just before sunset (8.10 UTC). From her description I suspected
    it to be a satellite decay due to its slow motion and initially when I
    checked out the SeeSat archive I came across posts about a Proton rocket
    (#26391) decay seen near Perth. But the times don't match.
    
    I have since received an email from home saying that another 15 people also
    saw the object and that the local radio station wants to interview her
    about it. I would love to be able to give her some information if indeed it
    turns out to be a satellite decay.
    
    Below is a copy of her email describing the sighting:
    
    Hi Michael! I would be extremely interested in knowing please, what I
    witnessed in the sky, yesterday 1 July, 2000 at 6.10  pm. It was really
    spectacular ! Here are the details.
    
    Date - 1 July, 2000
    
    Time - 6.10 pm ( approx.)
    
    What observed/witnessed - I would interpret it like this - a meteor with an
    orange / pink trail with a fireball head on it, the fireball head was
    burning up.
    
    Direction - North travelling East, was definately moving (I used an
    electric fence post as a marker to confirm this), was moving slowly.
    
    Time observed for - approx. 1 min
    
    Other comments - It was before sunset, a spectacular sunset was present.
    Unfortunately, did not see it disappear - it was so spectacular that I ran
    over to the dairy to tell Dad and Mitch to come out to see it, but by the
    time I got back it was gone. However had watched it for approx. 1 minute
    beforehand.
    
    MY VERDICT - Could this have been a Daytime Arietid which was actually a
    fireball? Definately no vapour trails like jets, no flashing lights. The
    front of it was definately burning up. The only other possibily that I can
    think of is a satellite burning up - but what would that look like Michael?
    Would it have a trail like the one that I saw? I remember seeing footage on
    TV - showing a daytime meteor and when I first saw it, I couldn't believe
    my eyes and it came to me straight away that what I was seeing looked
    exactly like the footage of the daytime meteor that I had seen on TV. I
    would greatly appreciate being able to find out what I saw please Michael -
    it was really spectacular!!! Thanks so very much for your help Michael - I
    really appreciate it. I have been so excited still after seeing this and I
    would so much like to find out what it is that I saw.
    
    Best regards,
    Brigitte Humphries
    
    Michael MacDonald
    Star Class - Astronomy Education
    GPO Box 271 Canberra ACT 2601
    (02) 6253 0970
    http://www.starclass.com.au
    mailto:michael@starclass.com.au
    ICQ #34367905
    
    
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