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I'm Brendan Loy, a 26-year-old graduate of USC and Notre Dame now living and working in Knoxville, Tennessee. My wife Becky and I are brand-new parents of a beautiful baby girl, born on New Year's Eve.

I'm a big-time sports fan, a politics, media & law junkie, an astronomy buff, a weather nerd, an Apple aficionado, a Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter fanatic, and an all-around dork. My blog is best-known for its coverage of Hurricane Katrina, but I blog about anything and everything that interests me.

You can contact me at irishtrojan [at], or donate to my "tip jar" by clicking the link below:

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Missile hits satellite; Earth eclipses Moon

It's a hit! The missile hit the spy satellite! No further details are available yet. [UPDATE, 12:05 AM: According to the AP, "In a statement announcing that the Navy missile struck the satellite, the Pentagon said, 'Confirmation that the fuel tank has been fragmented should be available within 24 hours.' It made no mention of early indications, but a defense official close to the situation said later that officials monitoring the collision saw what appeared to be an explosion, indicating that the fuel tank was hit."]

Folks on the west coast and in Canada: Did you see anything unusual in the sky -- like a "swarm of meteors", perhaps?

[UPDATE, 12:25 AM: Blogger "scorpy808" captured what appears to be a photo of the eclipsed Moon with a piece of re-entering satellite debris right next to it!. OMG! Awesome! (I found this by searching Google Blog Search for the word "satellite" and the phrase "I saw.") And here is another possible sighting report. Not to mention Lisa's in comments!]

Back here in the southeast, the only thing unusual in the sky right now is a very reddish moon, which is just starting to show a sliver of white on the lower right edge as it begins to emerge from the Earth's umbra. As I mentioned below, the clouds eventually cleared and Becky, Loyette and I were able to see it. Well... Loyette may not have seen it, per se, but she was in its presence, anyway. :)

Here's a photo I took of the eclipse at 10:45 PM:

That's Saturn at the bottom of the photo, and the star Regulus at the top.

UPDATE: Here's a wider view, taken at 10:56. The clouds appear orange due to the Greater Knoxville light dome:

Reader Ken Wagner sends along eclipse photos from Nashville. Thanks, Ken! Others' photos can be found here and here.


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Negative. Negative. It didn't go in. Just impacted on the surface.

As I was going out to see the eclipse, I saw something in the sky that glowed very bright, then faded as it "fell" down in the sky. I don't know if I saw the satellite being blown up or not. Do you know if there's anyway I could find out if that's indeed what I saw?

WOOHOO! A SIGHTING! :) Lisa, what you saw almost certainly wasn't "the satellite being blown up" per se, but if it was a few minutes after 7:30 local time, it was very likely a piece of debris from the satellite (or the missile) burning up in the atmosphere as it fell out of orbit. I'm guessing it was in the northwestern sky (or thereabouts)?

(Er, I'm assuming that this is my classmate Lisa, and that you're somewhere in the Seattle area. Otherwise my comment might be totally wrong. :)

No, it's me. I think it was actually southeast of me though, so maybe that's not what I saw. It was a little after 7:30 though.

Hmm, well, our resident orbital-mechanics experts can correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think it would be entirely shocking if a piece of debris re-entered a bit to the south and east of the destroyed satellite's original ground track. So I still bet it was a piece of the satellite. It would be an odd coincidence if, at that exact time in that exact place, you saw something else roughly matching the description of a piece of re-entering debris.

My dad and I figured out (based on time stamps on photos that I took of the eclipse) that I saw the "glowing thing" at about 7:32.

Sounds about right. I bet it was a piece of the satellite. Cool.

Yay! I feel special :)

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