In the wee hours of the morning of last Saturday (July 30, 2016), while out stargazing, I saw something odd which I am unable to explain.
- The object was traveling with a bearing of about 5-20° east of straight south.
- The object flew nearly straight overhead, somewhat near the star Vega, sometime between 1:10-1:30AM local time (6:10-6:30AM GMT). I was stargazing at the latitude and longitude 44.795614 N, 94.377516 W (https://goo.gl/maps/FB4yDsR8GYv).
- The object was moving at a speed similar to an airplane.
- The object's light blinked 3-4 times, but at a seemingly lower frequency than a typical airplane. Also, while planes typically have a very short duration flash, this object had much longer flashes (1-2 seconds, probably), with the light being lit for about the same proportion of time as it was unlit.
- I did not hear any propeller sounds, indicating that either that the object was relatively far away or that this was not a plane/helicopter.
- The light also seemed brighter than a typical airplane's light, although I can't be entirely sure. It was certainly brighter than every star in the sky.
- After the 3-4 blinks, there were no more blinks (and this is on a wonderfully clear night; it's not possible that it was obscured by clouds, as I could still see the stars along the path it was flying)
From all this information, I am able to deduce that it was not a satellite, as satellites don't blink like this. It is presumably not a typical commercial or private flight, even though there is a small airport roughly 4.5 miles north of where I was, because the lights stopped blinking, and that is presumably prohibited in nighttime flights. I have not heard of any plane crashes nearby, which I expect I would have, had this been a plane that went down in flight.
Any ideas what I might have seen?