general astronomy question

Smeghead, that was probably Sirius, the brightest star in the sky. At this time of year it it directly below Orion when it rises late at night and to the left of Orion in the early morning before sunrise.

Jupiter is very clear in a telescope even in the middle of Toronto, where I live. Last night I observed it quite easily. Three moons were apparent. You should have little trouble spotting Jupiter and Saturn even in a city.

Now is a great time for seeing Jupiter and Saturn in North America; they’re really high up and immediately obvious starting in the early evening. On a clear night you can spot them right away.

Then Smeghead asks:

Probably Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky. It would have been clearly visible below Orion for most of the night, appearing a bit to the lower left after about midnight. It looked really, really bright last night.

Epimetheus, sarcasm and eye-rolling don’t play very well when you’re wrong. The links you provided were from people who saw geosynchronous satellites with a telescope. The damn things are over 20,000 miles away! And one that was ESE would be lots farther away.

Back to the OP, Iridium flares are pretty spectacular, but the brighter they are, the briefer they are, and they move pretty fast. If it was in the East before sunrise, bright, and stationary, it was Venus.

On the night of the Leonids, both Venus and Jupiter were exceedingly bright Venus was low in the sky and Jupiter was near overhead. My bet is with Venus.