Posted: Apr 27, 2008 5:55 pm
Damnit! I was out in the back yard around that time last night and missed it.
Almost all space launches are either west to east or north-south, so it probably wasn't a reentering rocket stage or space junk.
Did it travel the entire length of the sky from east to west, or was there a visible point of origin?
How bright was it compared to the moon? To streetlights?
It could have been a stray Lyrid
Lyrid meteors are typically as bright as the stars in the Big Dipper, which is to say of middling brightness. But some are more intense, even brighter than Venus. These "Lyrid fireballs" cast shadows for a split second and leave behind smokey debris trails that linger for minutes.
Checking my handy Starry Night
widget, it looks like Lyria rose about 10 PM, which means it would have been just below the eastern horizon about that time. Which means a Lyrid meteor would have traveled east to west.