So there I was two weeks ago, during the Taurid meteor shower. I’d stepped out for an evening stroll around 2000 Hrs central Standard Time, headed northbound. For reasons of security (family friend had a spook) and stability (bum knee was being a bum), I had a walking stick with me. This is important, because when I use a walking stick, I tend to stand straighter and look up and ahead more than down. The skies had cleared out after a passing cool front, and there weren’t too many porch lights on. The Christmas light overload has not kicked in yet, so the dark areas were nice and dark. I cruised along at a brisk pace, head up, eyes on the road and the sky. The road opens up at a park, so there’s a broad view of what’s at the foot of the long hill I walk down.
Motion caught my eye and I looked up, to the west-north-west, in time ti see a yellow-orange something hauling tail across the sky. And I mean that literally – it had a definite contrail, also glowing a little. I thought it was a jet, since I could see little flashes of what would be wingtip strobes. Except the whole thing was yellow-orange and throwing off sparks. It lasted long enough to pass the zenith on a 040 heading or so before breaking into three chunks and disappearing. I stopped, listening hard for a sonic boom or impact thump, but didn’t hear anything. Apparently the thing burned up, or no one has yet reported the impact.
I’ve seen shooting stars before, and comets, but for pure drama that one takes the prize.