Selene and I arrived yesterday in San Jose, CA and our friend Jenny drove us from the airport to our place in the Santa Cruz mountains. I love the feeling of home place that permeates the senses: the odors of a Eucalyptus stand brought in by gentle breezes, the fresh almost medicinal quality of the odor wafted by bay trees, and the cool moist scent of nature's air conditioners, the redwoods.
I spent the day on maintenance chores. The front door lever was broken, but a bit of TLC took care of that problem. The battery bank needed a dusting in preparation for some work tomorrow - a friend and I will add another string of batteries to the bank to increase the stored power capacity by 33%.
Last night as we laid in bed, we marveled at the dark country sky, something we miss when we're in an urban area. Off to the west we both noticed what at first appeared to be a plane heading straight at us. This is not unusual as we are in the San Jose and San Francisco traffic pattern. Jets arriving from the south or west head east across the mountains then veer northward to enter their final approach. What we often see are the main lights and red/green running lights as a scintillating multi-hued point that eventually resolves into a plane as it goes by our place; not so last night. Instead this bright multi-hued point of light remained stationary. We both saw it move about it bit, but that movement was the usual motion illusion that hits us all when we watch a point of light without a good background reference. Selene got us a pair of binoculars and by leaning it against a wall, we could see the point of light much better.
Under magnification, the point of light remained so but the colors were brighter ranging from deep reds, through the spectrum up to violets! It had the quality of rotation. We observed this anomaly for about half an hour (11:30 - 12:00), and during that time it slowly faded; the object moved horizon-ward no more than a hand span.
With next to no motion, this could not have been a LEO satellite. It was not an Iridium flash. I have seen those. It was not a helicoptor or balloon; the binoculars would have resolved it. It hung due west approximately 30 degrees above the horizon.
Now the last time I saw such a thing it turned out to be the Russian space mirror which was deployed in 1999. This unidentified object had those same qualities and I wonder if anyone else saw it.