View Full Version : Seen any strange/unexplained phenomena?
11th of November 2008 (Tue), 06:27
Regrettably I didn't have my camera on me, but I was out walking the dog the other night and I saw something odd in the sky.
There was a half moon out due south-south-east, Jupiter was low on the horizon to the south, and Venus was even lower in the south-south-west. Would've made a nice wide-angle shot.
Anyway, I suddenly noticed two very bright objects in the east-south-east. Easily as bright as Venus, but pure white. They were perhaps 30 degrees up, one higher up and to the west of the other, but quite close together. Reminded me of Castor and Pollux, but way brighter and closer together. I couldn't see any flickering, or flashing lights, suggesting they weren't planes or helicopters. They also didn't appear to be moving. Over the space or 20 or 30 seconds they slowly faded then completely disappeared.
My only guess is they were flares, a long way away and very high up, but I'm really not sure.
Anyone ever seen or shot something they can't explain what it is?
11th of November 2008 (Tue), 06:43
E.T. phoned home...
11th of November 2008 (Tue), 06:51
Could have been Satellites, though normally you see some movement from them, I think even the iridium flares move, though they may be shorter lived so you don't see as much movement.
11th of November 2008 (Tue), 07:22
Ah, do Geostationary satellites produce iridium flares sometimes? That might've been it if so...the sun had not long set so the lights would've been in the right position, and they way they faded slowly would also explain it.
11th of November 2008 (Tue), 07:24
Was it just after sunset? It may have been the sun reflecting off stationary satellites as it was setting.
Edit: just saw your post.
11th of November 2008 (Tue), 08:07
Could have been a weather balloon and its payload. Might have been a geosync satellite, but I've never heard of them "flaring." Had many M42 subs destroyed by them, however. :)
Iridium flares do move, the movement is quite apparent, as the Iridium satellites are not in geostationary orbits.
See, for example, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1PFUP5LPyuA
You could check heavens-above.com for your date/time and see if they report anything in the vicinity.
11th of November 2008 (Tue), 10:45
Some classified satellites travel in pairs and occasionally produce flares.
11th of November 2008 (Tue), 15:01
Fun site I check every once in a while, Check out the database area of the site:
11th of November 2008 (Tue), 22:03
I seriously doubt it would be from Geo-sync satellites.
They orbit out of necessity around 22,000 miles out.
Low earth satellites are with in 100 miles I believe. How far out depends on the necessary orbital time. They are too far away for flaring to be visible I'm pretty sure.
Weather balloon makes a lot of sense and it most likely. They wouldn't show much movement and if the sun caught them right could be brilliant.
Sky of the Plains
13th of November 2008 (Thu), 23:05
yeah probably a satellite or satellite's. Dont worry about missing the shots, as the three will be super close on Dec. 1st. Ill post a map on this forum, if not check my site for a map, should be really photogenic!
14th of November 2008 (Fri), 07:49
... the three will be super close on Dec. 1st.
Ah, I know Venus and Jupiter are getting closer and closer, (from Earth's perspective), and are going to be nice and close on November the 30th, but didn't know the moon was just round the corner. (I buy Sky at Night magazine, and it has a list of worthwhile things to look out for each month, but being that it's November it doesn't mention December the 1st...so thanks for the warning, (even though I probably wouldn't seen anyway), as I don't normally get the magazine until a few days into the month.
Be an interesting challenge for people to try and get a good photo of all three in the same frame.
14th of November 2008 (Fri), 15:30
I changed my FOV parameters in Starry Night Pro to see what it would take to get Venus, Jupiter, and the moon in one frame (APS-C size). Seems like 200mm is a good focal length:
Sky of the Plains
14th of November 2008 (Fri), 17:41
I saw a shot on space weather during the crescent moon this month, with jupiter and the four moons and the moon with earthshine! it was amazing. Send me your photos if you take them so I can post them on my website (free adverstising for you?) of course Ill give you credit!
14th of November 2008 (Fri), 17:53
That was a cool photo on Spaceweather. Actually several good ones. I'll try on 12/1 (weather permitting) with my cheapo Sigma lens since I don't have anything better in that focal length (yet).
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