I am an amateur in space, and I usually read here to better my understanding.

I was camping Saturday night (July 25, 2015), and while I was looking at the sky I noticed a bright object moving really fast (maybe it looked like a comet), I saw several of them and they were so beautiful.

Is it normal to see several fast objects moving at night? (I saw that 6 times in 2 hours. I don't know what to call them, but they had a tail.)

More info:

They were extremely fast, vanished in 1 or 2 seconds maximum. They were as bright as the other stars and planets. As for the angle, they were somehow at top of me, and went somehow straight. It was at night around 2 a.m.. What made them interesting to me is that I saw several of them, about six of them.

There is no specific direction, they appeared from different directions. I mean, if they appeared from north they would go in a straight line to south or east. They got brighter, though I noticed something in one of them--its direction wasn't straight line. It had a really small diversion. I don't know how to explain that. It covered maximum 2 seconds. They didn't reach the horizon. They covered small parts of the sky. There was no change in colors, just bright white. I did notice a dust trail for seconds after they disappeared. I was on a mountain and it was a clear sky.

I was in the Middle East, specifically Lebanon.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ In general, if they are "fast," they are meteors. From an earth vantage point, satellites appear to move not a whole lot faster than aircraft. ISS, which moves at about 7.5 km/s at an altitude of ~400 km takes several minutes to traverse the sky. Meteors move much faster -- often between 20 and 50 km/s. $\endgroup$ – Tristan Jul 28 '15 at 13:20
  • $\begingroup$ Were there any news reports documenting the event in global or local news outlets? $\endgroup$ – Colyn1337 Jul 28 '15 at 13:50
  • $\begingroup$ @called2voyage: I guess so, there is a selected answer, furthermore commented as matching the seeing. Shouldn't the question be migrated to Astronomy.SE? $\endgroup$ – mins Jul 28 '15 at 17:17
  • $\begingroup$ @mins If that is what you think, then you should flag it for migration. I am inclined to agree it belongs at Astronomy, but we should see what the community thinks. $\endgroup$ – called2voyage Jul 28 '15 at 19:10

You most likely saw meteors. Around this time, it could be the Delta Aquarids meteor swarm.

(from the BBC site)

Fast-moving objects without a tail are usually satellites.

  • $\begingroup$ Yes, thats it. it was beautiful. $\endgroup$ – Moudiz Jul 27 '15 at 10:40
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    $\begingroup$ @Moudiz: And marvelous if you think that those meteors maybe less than one mm grain of sand. $\endgroup$ – mins Jul 28 '15 at 17:31

If you saw a tail on the objects, it was very likely a meteor. The trail is caused by the object impacting with the Earth's atmosphere, and the pressure causing it to vaporize. There are several meteor shower events each year where you can see dozens of these occuring over the span of a few hours.

Oddly enough, I also went camping on Saturday. When I reached the location I spent a good 30 minutes outside and noticed many fast moving objects in the sky too. However, these objects did not have a tail on them, and were much more dim than what you report to have seen. These were almost surely satellites, which in dark skys can be picked out with little difficulty.

  • $\begingroup$ You may confirm the likelihood of satellites if the objects were visible within 90 mn after the sunset, since satellites need to be lighted by the Sun under the horizon (for us). $\endgroup$ – mins Jul 28 '15 at 17:24
  • $\begingroup$ Yes I read the link that Hobbes provide about meteor events and ill try to catch one of them. As for saturday night , at what time your reached the location ? in the link they said the perfect time is between 1 and 3. did those fast moving thing vanished in seconds or not ?. $\endgroup$ – Moudiz Jul 28 '15 at 17:27
  • $\begingroup$ @mins side question , if i was in a city at the same date and at a coastal , would I be able to see those meteor ? $\endgroup$ – Moudiz Jul 28 '15 at 17:30
  • $\begingroup$ @Moudiz: I think so. These events occur at high altitude (100 to 80 km is common), they are visible from very large areas (larger than the continental US). They last all night, with peaks at midnight of so. Look at their origin here, and prediction here (Perseids in August are the most numerous). $\endgroup$ – mins Jul 28 '15 at 17:55
  • $\begingroup$ @mins they mentioned in the article that city lights might make it hard to see meteors falls. quoting from the link of hobbes " If moonlight or city lights don’t obscure the view, we on Earth see the falling." $\endgroup$ – Moudiz Jul 28 '15 at 18:00

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