Skygazers spot mysterious flaming object during Sunday’s lunar eclipse

University of Victoria astronomer explains the “glowing object”

UPDATED: A number of online accounts have since reported seeing a meteor impact on the moon during the eclipse, but it cannot be confirmed if this is the object referenced below.

A red moon wasn’t the only thing igniting the sky Sunday night.

Black Press editor Don Descoteau and his partner were out looking at the Super Blood Wolf Moon in front of their Saanich home when they spotted something else unusual in the southern skies.

RELATED: Shots of the lunar eclipse from Victoria and beyond

“I happened to glance south over the housetops and saw this other object glowing bright red,” Descoteau said. “From our angle It seemed to hover for a bit, then all of a sudden there was a huge flaming tail that came off it. It fell straight down after that. I thought it might be someone’s drone blowing up, but other News readers indicated it was a meteor.”

When Descoteau tweeted about what he saw through the Victoria News Twitter account, many commented that they too noticed the flaming object.

University of Victoria astronomer Karun Thanjavur explained the “glowing object” was likely a meteorite – a pebble-sized piece of space rock shooting across the sky.

Meteorites, he said, are in the sky every night but we don’t typically see them because they are small and fast, disappearing from human view after only one to two seconds.

“Because people were looking up, the chances of seeing [a meteorite] were higher,” he said. “They are happening every night.”

Thanjavur said because the eclipse darkened the moon, any action happening in the sky – like meteorites – would be especially visible.

RELATED: Hundreds enjoy lunar eclipse through UVic telescopes

In the days following the eclipse, reports showed up up on social media from people saying they saw a “bright flash on the moon.”

Many live feeds picked up the flash, including one from York, Pennsylvania.

It may have been a separate space event from the one Descoteau witnessed, but National Geographic has since reported that the flash recorded by many was likely the result of impact from a meteor hitting the moon.


 

nina.grossman@blackpress.ca

Just Posted

BC SPCA overwhelmed with cats, kittens needing homes

Large number of cruelty investigations, plus normal ‘kitten season’ to blame

Cross-examination begins for Oak Bay dad accused of killing daughters

Andrew Berry is charged in the deaths of six-year-old Chloe and four-year-old Aubrey in 2017

Camosun mechanical engineering project solve real-world problems

Showcase included projects that confound conventional wisdom, garner industry interest

Arenas, fitness centre ready for action after significant flood at Saanich recreation centre

Library branch, archives remain closed after Thursday night flood

Midway will open early at the 2019 Saanich Fair

This year the fair will pilot a “sneak peek” and the main stage will feature April Wine

B.C. sockeye returns drop as official calls 2019 ‘extremely challenging’

Federal government says officials are seeing the same thing off Alaska and Washington state

Expanded support to help B.C. youth from care attend university still falling short

Inadequate support, limited awareness and eligibility restrictions some of the existing challenges

Ethnic media aim to help maintain boost in voting by new Canadians

Statistics Canada says new Canadians made up about one-fifth of the voting population in 2016

Dog attacked by river otters, Penticton owner says

Marie Fletcher says her dog was pulled underwater by four river otters in the Penticton Channel

POLL: Should there be a ban on gas-powered leaf blowers?

We’ve all heard them, and most likely cursed them under our breath.… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of Aug. 23

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Wife charged in husband’s death in Sechelt

Karin Fischer has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of her husband, Max

B.C. Hydro applies for rare cut in electricity rates next year

Province wrote off $1.1 billion debt to help reverse rate increase

Most Read