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Cosmic Radiant

Bright orange lines in the sky

8 posts in this topic

I was driving home from work 2 days ago, and it was around 6:45pm, so the sun was just about to set, maybe 30 min before sunset. I saw this orange line in the sky that was moving. This is the 2nd time I have seen this when its around the same time.

What I saw looked like an asteroid tail, but it was moving and there were other ones that just appeared beside it and close to it, I had my eye on them the whole time while I was driving, because it was directly in front of me. They were there for about 10 min, but slowly disappeared. It could of been the clouds passing by them, or just got too dark to see it anymore. I have the worst luck too, trying to get out my cell phone and take a pic, but my phone's camera has always had issues, and it never works. I know its kinda pointless saying I saw that if I dont have a simple picture.

Has anyone else seen anything like that? Is it just an asteroid? I google searched for a lot of images but found NONE that looked like it.

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What exactly is an asteroid tail? From the description it sounds like aircraft contrails illuminated by the setting sun.

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Well I meant tail as in the fire from an asteroid. It couldnt of been contrails because they were very small lines, im learning towards asteroid but is it even possible to see asteroids in our atmosphere without an impact?

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From the description it sounds like aircraft contrails illuminated by the setting sun.

Those are my thoughts about it as well. I've seen orange lines like that too when the sun is setting.

It looks neat, but whenever I've seen them I knew they were nothing more than contrails colored orange due to the sun setting.

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Well I meant tail as in the fire from an asteroid. It couldnt of been contrails because they were very small lines, im learning towards asteroid but is it even possible to see asteroids in our atmosphere without an impact?

Asteroids do not have tails - do you mean meteor? If there were multiple lines then it strongly suggests contrails.

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Well I meant tail as in the fire from an asteroid. It couldnt of been contrails because they were very small lines, im learning towards asteroid but is it even possible to see asteroids in our atmosphere without an impact?

It sounds like sunlit contrails to me also. Why does them being 'thin' mean they aren't contrails? Contrails generally occur at over 20,000 feet, and I'm guessing these were near the horizon? If so they could have been several miles away or more, so they are quite likely to be skinny...

Meteor/ite trails tend to be short and quite fast, and yes, the majority of them burn up without hitting the ground, hence the term 'shooting star'. Multiple meteor trails in lines are rare, but contrails? Planes on similar flight paths = common..

Maybe invest in a little compact camera? - even a basic, cheap 3x zoom camera would probably be able to record this scene reasonably well, both as still images and movie...

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No, it was not contrails. Never seen contrails that moved downward in such a high velocity. Also never seen contrails that were that short. looked like a little orange thread in the sky moving just like a meteor or asteroid would.

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No, it was not contrails. Never seen contrails that moved downward in such a high velocity. Also never seen contrails that were that short. looked like a little orange thread in the sky moving just like a meteor or asteroid would.

The fact that you have never seen something does not mean it doesn't exist.. :) And you now say 'high velocity downwards'? That wasn't part of your initial description, and in fact here's what you said in the first post:

I had my eye on them the whole time while I was driving, because it was directly in front of me. They were there for about 10 min, but slowly disappeared.

That, and your new recollection don't seem to match. High velocity versus ten minutes and slowly disappearing?

BTW, contrails can be *extremely* short, in conditions that are not very conducive for their formation. Seen at, say, a 20-30 degree angle up (ie not too far away) and catching the last rays of a just-set sun, short contrails will seem to move at a reasonable rate and yet they may slowly disappear as the sun's shadow 'swallows' them (and the plane)...

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