It's a bird, a plane, a UFO … or maybe just meteors

Seattle Times/November 15, 2011

The calls came into newsrooms across the Seattle area Tuesday night. Even the Federal Aviation Administration got a few.

Callers wanted to know: What was that bright object streaking across the sky? Was it a UFO?

Well, it wasn't a plane, said the FAA.

Nothing weather-related, said the National Weather Service.

And it couldn't have been the Space Station. The station is extremely bright when it happens to be crossing the sky, but it wasn't making a pass at the time people called.

Marius Strom, president of the Seattle Astronomical Society, checked online and said several bright objects — two former Soviet rockets and a military satellite — made passes Monday night at 6:55, 7:15 and 7:50 p.m.

"There's a lot of junk up there," he said.

He didn't think the bright objects were meteors, which are certainly fast but not terribly bright. The Leonid meteor shower was expected to peak Thursday night.

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