Published: 4:43 PM 2/7/2014
Ashburn, Virginia - 01-22-14
Shape: Light - Duration: 30 seconds
Highly reflective object over Ashburn, VA; not bird, balloon, aircraft.
Sighted at 16:45, 16:57, 17:19, 17:20.
16:45 - I saw a bright specular reflection in sky looking south. Put binoculars on, saw irregular changing shape with highly reflective surface. It was not a weather balloon, not a party balloon, not a bird, not an aircraft. There was no lateral motion.
It kept changing shape, reflection threw off blues and reds yellows as though diffraction on surface of it. It quickly shrank in size to full disappearance. Once it started to dim it faded to full disappearance in about 5 seconds. Gone. About 30 seconds appearance.
There was no dark silhouette until just before full vanish, at that instance it was a tiny round grey dot alternating with very tiny dim reflective flashes, then gone. There were no avigation lights at any time. Also, there were no birds in area riding thermals.
16:57 - Looking south in same direction for possible re-sighting of reflective object: Dark grey object becomes visible as though emerging from water vapor in background. Easily resolvable angular resolution which was unusual considering the fade-in. Moving east to west.
It looked a little like jet plane in traffic, looked about the right size and with lateral motion, but had no vertical stabilizer, no distinct wing shape. Would place it as about 1500-2000 ft altitude if in traffic pattern but in less than 5 seconds faded into a complete vanish as though going through a water vapor visibility limit.
Impossible for a commercial jet in local traffic to do this at that close proximity from this observer. Same object as at 16:45? Don't know.
17:19 - Reflective specular object reappears, not as bright, smaller point reflection as though further away again towards the south. No apparent motion. iPhone camera will not register it, probably too dim against sky and camera knocks down aperture. Dims out quickly. About 10 seconds appearance.
17:20 - Repeat of same sighting profile as in 17:19. No more sightings for 30 minutes after. I stopped observing and decided to file this report.
I do not know how to classify these sightings.