Lisa Suhay and her 9-year-old son caught a rare glimpse of fiery trails in the evening sky last night that unleashed the family's imaginations and sparked a sleuthing adventure.
The sky has been in the news a lot lately, from the fireball that outshone the Moon to NASA’s LADEE moon launch, so when your child tells you, “The sky’s falling” if might be worth more than a story about a little chicken.
Last night Quin, 9, and I were driving home from the grocery store just before dusk, sevenish, when he pointed out a bright flare in the sky, like a tiny sun that appeared and then began to shoot away leaving a very bright trail.
I had just told Quin that after sunset we would go watch the sky to see the crescent moon ascend within a blink of Venus. It’s called a conjunction.
We had already followed the story of the comet that outshone the moon. According to The Latin Post, “a large, bright fireball shined in the skies visible from the southern part of the United States last week on Aug. 28.”
So Quin was already scanning the dusky skies as we drove home.
We were stopped at a red light not far from home when he saw the first flash and burn across the sky.
It was 88-degrees and the groceries were going to melt, but how often do you get to be so Biblical with your child that you choose to “follow a star?”
Half a mile later, we pulled into the entrance of Norfolk Southern Railway’s Lamberts Point coal yard and got out to marvel together.
I captured the event in both photos and video with my cell phone.
The results are not great, but in the end would get us closer to finding out what we were seeing.
What we saw with the naked eye were irregular black shapes appearing in the sky with orange coronas that flared around the leading edge and bright trails of white light behind them. It looked like a match head burning through a picture of the sky from the back.
In photos they just look like a jet contrail super highway.