Monday, 26 September 2011

I didn't dream it

Hyakutake, March 1996
Just like the night I saw a comet from the boat in the Cambridgeshire Fens in 1996 , I woke early on Saturday and saw smoke and light trails across the sky and wondered if I was dreaming.

On the boat in 1996,  I thought I was seeing a plane with its front lights visible against the dark Fen sky. When the 'plane' hadn't moved in about five minutes, I drew a picture on the shopping chalk-board and went back to sleep. The picture was still there when I woke the next morning, proving I hadn't dreamed it and had, in fact, seen the Hyakutake comet clearly without the aid of binoculars or telescope.

This time, I grabbed the camera and started snapping. The sky was full of trails and at first I thought they might have been from planes. Then the first dark, wobbly trail left-right over the trees, began, first as a bright trail which became darker and bigger as it travelled downwards. A second traiil (top right) started as bright ball of light and it was this was what caused me to reach for the camera. This photo was taken about sunrise, Hertfordshire, looking East. A plane crossing sky shortly afterwards left no trail.

First photos taken at about 6.15am
News of the falling satellite was confused. It had passed over the UK twice during the night but there was nothing about any sightings of debris. It was shortly after 8am when confirmation that it was down came through from NASA. I can't believe  I am the only one to have caught anything on camera. Has anyone seen any other images on the web ?