Cosmic Coincidence: Meteor Spotted Over Portland, Oregon Skies
(Portland, Oregon) – For a little bit, it seemed as if at least one person in Portland saw the last lights of the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite above Portland. But it was just a meteor – and quite a coincidence (Above: the SW skies above Portland - the meteor was seen just left of the frame)
With my camera sitting in the dark of SW Portland/Beaverton, trained on the SW portion of the sky, I was lurking here between 9:16 p.m. (Pacific time) and 9:26. Local authorities said it would be around 9:20 when the UARS would be visible here in the Rose City – IF it would be visible, and that was a big if.
Taking a series of photos from this spot, each around 30 – 45 seconds long, I finish up the last one at 9:23 p.m. Just as I reach to switch off the camera, a faint, but long, long streak comes sailing through the sky, from the northwest to the southeast, to the direct south. It took me a second to realize I'd just seen something, and I was delighted, even elated. Then the sense of dismay kicked in that I had just shut down the camera – but this was a bit of a moot point since the streak occurred just out of frame of where this photograph above was taken. I was pointing in the wrong place anyway.
Just after 10 p.m. the local news showed footage of the satellite, and this was definitely not what I had seen. I saw an actual meteor streak zip across the sky.
Still, an interesting and delightful coincidence,and some really fascinating timing.
As of 10:30 p.m. Friday night here in the Northwest of the United States, NASA has said it believes the UARS has come down and is trying to confirm this.
- Story by Andre' Hagestedt, editor