MODESTO, CALIFORNIA - CHP motorcycle officer, Doug Pascal, was on patrol on the side of Hwy. 99 Thursday, in the early morning hours, when his radar gun picked up a speeding object going 20,000 mph.
Thinking about the value of the speeding ticket he was about to write, Doug pulled out to chase after the offender when his sleepy brain finally kicked in and he realized no car, domestic or foreign, could attain that kind of speed.
The comet, referred to as ISOR by the astronomers at Griffith Observatory in L.A., is an extremely unusual one, in fact, newly discovered. ISOR has been classified as a low flying terrestrial cometoid, similar to an asteroid except it has a tail.
Astronomer Dr. Butch Wodehouse explains, "We believe the cometoid was attracted to earth by the dust that has been slowly developing across the the California landscape since the drought began. Although extremely rare, cometoids dip down into earth's atmosphere, gather as much dust as they can, and then stream back into space."
Asked if anyone was injured or killed by ISOR on its brief trip down Hwy 99, Officer Pascal, said, "Luckily, it was a relatively quiet night on Hwy. 99. We did find some debris, but figured that it was just the usual trash you see along the highway every day."