10:30 on august 20th. 2017. lone point, lake shelbyville. my wife, daughter and son retire to bed. night before the eclipse. my oldest son and i decided it was a cool night with a light breeze. no bugs. stars were phenomenal. we set up chairs facing west northwest. beautiful unobstructed view of the stars. a hint of the milky way. no clouds. fire dying out to glowing coals. sitting and talking about the perseids we saw two weeks ago up in wisconsin hoping we could catch a few shooting stars. we catch a few faint ones and then set up our iphones on the nightcap app. within the app there is a shooting star setting. it takes a five second open aperture shot on loop. it keeps clicking off shots until you stop it or it hits 290 shots. then it computes how many to save that had light events or movements. you have to position your phone against a stable object to keep any stars from blurring. it takes ok shots of meteors but they stand out against the points of light that are planets and stars . so my son and i are talking. we start to see a few faint meteors followed by a few real fire balls. a good show seeing 1 or 2 about every 20 minutes or so. then we see the strangest thing. a meteor shoot up from the horizon. never seen that before. but figuring the earth is round, sure. about three minutes later ( the whole time the iphone clicking away) we see a almost horizontal fireball shoot across the sky. but instead of a straight trajectory it shoots in a strange curved almost “u” shape. but instead of the common burn out on most meteors it just blinks out. we give each other a high five excited we both saw it. it was very bright. high altitude. faster then anything i have ever seen in the night sky. but unusual in its trajectory. we talk about it. stay out till 1 am and collect our phones and go to bed. as i’m laying in bed i see i caught a series from one fireball. i note the first three captures at 12:01. progressive fireball.
again. there was no other light source near us to reflect anything. this was all high altitude. and we never noticed the object. however we were getting up and moving around and there were moments we were not staring at the sky.
i tried zooming on the object. unable to identify. and although it was pitch black except for the stars i can’t explain it. if you notice. the stars in the background are crisp. if it were an image of a blurred star all of the stars would be blurred.
the biggest hangup was the speed at which the previous ” meteor” was traveling and it’s obvious altitude. and how it traveled in almost a cursive u course. how bright it was and the way it’s ” tail” hung in the sky as if it were almost drawn with a white glowing pen