My wife, adult son and I were relaxing in hot tub in our backyard talking and looking up at the night sky. It was clear and moonless night. We like to look up at the stars and keep an eye out for passing satellites or the occasional shooting star. We live in Northern Virginia so with all the light pollution, that's a challenge. As I was looking up I spotted a v-shaped formation of round lights coming straight in our direction from the south. I pointed it out immediately to my son and wife who saw it clearly as well. It had a row of four to five round orange/copper colored lights on each side of the V with a light at the point. Judging only from it's lights - we could not see any structural definition - it appeared to be about the same size as a McDonnell Douglas DC-9. It flew by approximately 500-700 feet up from the ground, about the same height of approach aircraft to the airport. The object flew due north right overhead of us. We live close to Dulles International Airport so we frequently see and hear (very noisy) approaching and departing aircraft in the area. There were no aircraft in the immediate area during our sighting of the craft. If flew over steady, fast and silently. Not a sound! The whole event took less than 8 seconds but left us speechless! We could not explain it away as an aircraft, flock of geese, or anything from our experience.