Look! Up in the sky!
No, it wasn't a bird. It wasn't a plane, although at first I thought it was. It wasn't Superman, either. Here's what happened.
A few days ago I went out in the evening to do an errand. On my way to my car, I paused to admire the evening sky. Two planets were burning brightly, Venus, and, I think, Jupiter. The waxing crescent moon added to the beauty. It was cold and serene, a beautiful winter evening. And then I saw it. At first I did think it was a plane because it was that bright. It was moving, a bright transient star, and then it it burned orange and was extinguished. I blinked and looked again. Following in the path of the now vanished bright thing was a smaller, fainter light. It, too, suddenly vanished.
I stood staring for a while, trying to make up my mind about what I had seen. Had I witnessed a natural meteorite doing what meteorites so often do in our planetary atmosphere? Or had I been privileged to see the fiery demise of space junk, flaming out, with any luck, before whacking into someone's roof?
I still don't know, of course, but I'm leaning toward the space junk theory. Space junk has been in the news a lot lately. And there is so much of it. We humans don't seem to care where we toss our garbage. If that was a piece of human made debris, though, it had one attribute I don't normally associate with garbage. It was beautiful. Meteors and space junk: beautiful if you aren't right where they land.