Sighting: 2014 January 02

Grant Battison writes:

“I live in Elarduspark in Pretoria and last night [2014 Jan 02] at 19H40, I saw a bright orange object moving slowly from the north west to the south east. It had no tail, made no sound and was moving quite slowly. … the object was orange and “orb” like and moving quite slowly. To give you an idea of its velocity, when I first spotted it, it was moving towards me from the north west, I did not know what it was, but I was quite certain that it was not a plane, so I went inside and fetched the binoculars and went back outside and viewed it through the binoculars, it was still moving and was now closer than before. The binoculars revealed that it was as I said before – a glowing orange ball with no tail and moving quite slowly. So I went back inside and fetched the camera and by the time I got back outside, it was almost out of sight behind other buildings etc and I was in a rush to take a picture and I struggled to find it in the view finder. Anyway, I obviously did not get it in the photo … Based on the above chain of events it would have taken some time to move from a point on the horizon to directly above me. I had time to go into the house twice and come back out and still see the object. As for altitude, it’s hard to say, maybe 20 000ft/ 6000m.

Kos Coronaios (ASSA Observing Director) writes:

“Wow, what a sighting … If possible could you let us have a some more information, e.g. how high above the horizon (altitude) was the object, an estimate of speed if possible, weather conditions at the time. Perhaps estimate how long the object/s would take in seconds to travel from the horizon to a point directly above you.

“There was a bright pass of the ISS [International Space Station] last night (magnitude -3.2) at around 19:30 moving north north-west and disappearing in the south east and it is possible that this is what you saw.”