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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Grieving together, but apart: How funeral homes are handling the pandemic

‘Hugs are so important and right now hugs can’t happen’

Sidney Lions, Peninsula-raised designer craft nearly 200 masks for area seniors

182 masks were distributed to four Saanich Peninsula care homes

What Sooke School District schools will look like on first day of reopening

No water fountains, rotating schedules and face masks not required

Cancelled cruise ships costs Victoria more than $130 million

Transport Canada bans ships until end of October in response to COVID-19

Point-guard lobs no-look, three-pointer for Oak Bay High video

Trick-shot only took three times, says Oak Bay teen

VIDEO: Victoria dental staff dance to *NSYNC to promote reopening

Urban Smiles staff ‘want you back’ after closure in response to pandemic

Feds looking at ways to reunite families amid COVID-19 border restrictions with U.S.

Some families with members of dual-citizenship have become separated due to the pandemic

Telegraph Cove Resort will open June 1 to self-contained campers only

Washrooms, showers and all other amenities will remain closed for now

B.C. aquaculture farm’s employees sweat it out to raise funds for food banks

For every five minutes of exercise recorded, Cermaq Canada is donating a dollar to local food banks in communities they operate

Condition in kids with possible COVID-19 link being studied in Canada

This month, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an alert to doctors about MIS-C

‘I knew what he wanted’: Kootenay man spends hours in tree as black bear patrols below

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

Minneapolis cop who knelt on man’s neck charged with murder

Arrest comes after three days of protests, which escalated in violence as demonstrators torched a police precinct

POLL: Do you agree with the provincial government’s decision to increase the minimum wage?

B.C.’s lowest-paid workers will be getting a few more dollars to try… Continue reading

Trudeau acknowledges racial unrest in U.S.; ‘We also have work to do in Canada’

‘Anti-black racism, racism, is real; it’s in the United States, but it’s also in Canada,’ Trudeau says

Most Read