Reports Report 5113as (Event 5113-2017)

Name Joseph O
Experience Level 3/5
Remarks It was slower and longer lasting than other typical meteors I have seen, which usually last a fraction of a second.This sighting lasted between two and three seconds. It was significantly fatter and than a normal meteor sighting,and definitely trailed a long tail of yellow flame, but the flame was not turbulent. The flame was slightly dynamic, burning slightly rather than just being the usual thin, smooth, quick streak of white or pale blue light typical of normal meteors. It seemed to be at a low altitude in the atmosphere, lower than a cruising airliner. Intuitively, it seemed lower than 20,000 feet, but that may be an artifact of its slowness and brightness. It looked like it was less than 20 miles away, horizontally. I looked for smoke because I saw a smoky one about 20 years ago in dark conditions in the Rocky Mountains, but there was no smoke this time. It appeared approximately southeast of me and travelled in an east-northeast direction, as if heading roughly towards Denver International Airport. While I was outside for a few minutes, I was keeping a relaxed eye on the sky, wondering if I might see a Geminid meteor, despite being close to Downtown, so I was surprised to actually see one. Its size, apparent proximity, and brightness allowed me to see it under poor meteor-viewing conditions within a lot of light pollution in the heart of a city. The sky itself was clear of cloud in the direction of the meteor's flight. One detail I have high confidence in is the time. I set my watch two days ago using the website Later, when I got home, I checked my watch again and it was still accurate. I deliberately looked at my watch when the fireball disappeared and the time was 19:50:30, so my sighting occurred between 19:50:15 and 19:50:30. Also, I have reasonable confidence in the altitude above the horizon because I put out my fist at arm's length to estimate the altitude, and the sighting began roughly 35º above the ground, and descended to about 25º before disappearing behind a tall building in front of me to the east.
Address Denver, CO
Latitude 39° 44' 3.23'' N (39.73423°)
Longitude 104° 59' 12.98'' W (-104.98694°)
Elevation 1601.443m
Time and Duration
Local Date & Time 2017-12-14 19:50 MST
UT Date & Time 2017-12-15 02:50 UT
Duration ≈3.5s
Moving direction From up right to down left
Descent Angle 260°
Facing azimuth 100°
First azimuth 125°
First elevation 35°
Last azimuth 100°
Last elevation 25°
Brightness and color
Stellar Magnitude -8
Color Yellow, Light Yellow
Concurrent Sound
Observation Yes
Remarks I felt I was hearing a soft whoosh while looking at it, but afterwards reasoned that I imagined it because of the distance. I would not have heard anything until some interval had passed because sound travels slowly.
Delayed Sound
Observation Unknown
Remarks I had to return to work so I lingered only about 30 seconds after seeing it. I did listen for a boom, but I couldn't wait any longer to see if one arrived.
Persistent train
Observation No
Duration -
Length -
Remarks -
Terminal flash
Observation No
Remarks -
Observation No
Remarks -