18 October, 2009
The "UFO" event, observed over Southern Africa by many, photographed by few.
The following images are provided by our guest photographers Mitchell Krog and Albert van Biljon, diagrams and comments by Prof. MJH Hoffman, more by satellite tracker Greg Roberts
Thanks to all contributors, 702 Talk Radio and John Robbie, radio RSG for providing the link to our page and to all for visiting it!
A Centaur rocket, followed by US military weather satellite (DMSP F-18) dumped
a load of excess fuel into space, resulting in spectacular views over Southern Africa.
Mitchell Krog writes:
I was out shooting some lightning storms last night but as I am always checking
my back for storms that sneak up on me I turned around and saw a strange shape
in the sky. I immediately starting capturing some images of it, in total 13
images but I have only included 5 here beginning, middle and end of sighting.
This craft, whatever it may be, moved quite fast, first appearing in the South
and Moving North West. From the time I first saw it until I could no longer see
it was just under 4 minutes. Every so often a bright light would be emitted from
the centre point of the concentric circles. The images are numbered in order.
19 October 2009, South Africa
Prof. MJH Hoffman writes:
I found Mitchell's pictures of the fuel dump fascinating. Attached a (somewhat shaky) picture obtained by Albert van Biljon from Bloemfontein at 20:52:56 - he had to run for his camera when unexpectedly saw the strange sight. The three bright stars below the satellite are Ascella, SAO 187683 and Nunki, all three part of Sagittarius (or the "handle of the tea pot"). Thanks to the information that you provided I could find the two-line elements of the US military weather satellite (DMSP F-18), and confirm above reasonable doubt that the picture that Albert obtained is indeed of the same satellite that displayed the fuel dump over Europe. See attached satellite tracks as seen from Bloemfontein as obtained with the SatSpy program.
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