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Sighting Reports 2010

Glowing Aerial Light Disappears. Sky Lit Up Before it Disappeared

Date of Sighting: January 20, 2010
Time of Sighting: 10 PM PST
Location of Sighting: Stockton, California

Description: I was outside in my backyard looking up at the sky. I saw a big glowing white light appear as I was looking to the west. As fast as it appeared, it then disappeared. As soon as it disappeared a large part of the sky lit up. It lit up on both sides of the original white light. I thought to myself: Ok, now it's time for thunder, but there wasn't a sound to be heard. Also, when there is lightning in the sky, it isn't a round shaped light.

Additional Information Sent by Witness: I live in Northern California. We have been having rain all week, but no thunder or lightning here in Stockton. At the time that this occurred there were some clouds in the sky, but there were also some stars that were visible. I really don't think it was lightning because the round, bright, white light just suddenly appeared and after like 10 seconds poof it was gone. Then the whole sky in that area lit up really bright. If you ever figure out what it was, I would really appreciate it if you let me know. It's something that I know I will never forget.

Note: I probably wouldn't forget this experience either. The sighting had some of the characteristics of an Iridium flare satellite, but the sighting occurred much too long after sunset to be a satellite sighting. Lightning also is an unlikely explanation. The comments below strongly suggest that this sighting was a meteor. (Although the exact time of the meteor sighting is not known).

Comments by Reader Received January 24, 2010: I saw a meteor streak across the sky and then blow up into about three chunks and you could hear it and it left a smoke like trail. It lit up the sky as it disappeared.

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