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Night sky viewing, an aircraft question.

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posted on Oct, 26 2005 @ 05:52 PM
Hopefully it's ok to post this one here in the UFO section, as my question would help me to eliminate known aircraft when hoping to spot something out of the ordinary.

I've only recently started taking a lot more interest in the night sky (thanks to ATS
), so this will probably sound like a very basic question but i'll ask anyway. When i watch the skies at night, there are obviously a multitude of objects flying around up there, most of which are easily identified. Do all identfied civilian aircraft have flashing lights on them, either at the top of the bottom of the craft?

I ask this because just now i was looking at the skies, only through binoculars, and there was a very fast moving object travelling through the sky with a light flashing. I'm not shouting UFO or anything lol, it was travelling fast, very fast or so it appeared up there, but no faster than i've seen military jets fly before and it was going in a dead straight line so no weird movements to note. I just wondered if they use lights even at high speeds? I always seemed to be under the illusion that aircraft only use lights when approaching or landing? Then again, i have very little knowledge of aircraft, thats why i'm asking.



posted on Oct, 26 2005 @ 07:11 PM
Here is an amazingly simply answer all in one website

Sec. 91.209 - Aircraft lights.

No person may:

(a) During the period from sunset to sunrise (or, in Alaska, during the period a prominent unlighted object cannot be seen from a distance of 3 statute miles or the sun is more than 6 degrees below the horizon) --

(1) Operate an aircraft unless it has lighted position lights;

(2) Park or move an aircraft in, or in dangerous proximity to, a night flight operations area of an airport unless the aircraft --

(i) Is clearly illuminated;

(ii) Has lighted position lights; or

(iii) is in an area that is marked by obstruction lights;

(3) Anchor an aircraft unless the aircraft --

(i) Has lighted anchor lights; or

(ii) Is in an area where anchor lights are not required on vessels; or

(b) Operate an aircraft that is equipped with an anticollision light system, unless it has lighted anticollision lights. However, the anticollision lights need not be lighted when the pilot-in-command determines that, because of operating conditions, it would be in the interest of safety to turn the lights off.

posted on Oct, 26 2005 @ 11:15 PM
All planes, both civilian and military, have to be lighted at night. They are easily identifiable by having strobing white lights viewable from certain positions. From other angles, you might notice alternately blinking red and green lights, red for the right, green for the left side of the plane.

Sometimes, a plane will be very high, like at cruising altitude, and they may appear only as a solid white light, or solid, then start blinking a bit. It all depends on weather conditions and the angle you view it at.

Sometimes you might see a solid white light that goes on a relatively slow, but steady course and travels along a pretty straight path. Those are satelites.

The only time you should really be interested in an object at night is if:

1. It is moving and unusualy bright, with blue, yellow, bright red, purple, ect colors.
2. The object performs sudden stops, tight turns, or displays unusual speed.
3. The object performs such manuevers at very high speeds.
4. The object approaches close enough, within 500 feet, that you can tell quite obviously that its not a plane.
5. It displays unusual light patterns. Plane lights tend to strobe at a steady rhythym, many UFOs are reported to have strange configurations of lights, or the lights flash in a weird pattern.

Ive had many years being an insomniac, and as such, Im VERY familiar with all that haunts the night sky. Any questions, just ask me.


posted on Oct, 27 2005 @ 04:40 AM
Thanks for the replies guys, that clears up 100% of the stuff i watched last night then!


posted on Oct, 27 2005 @ 06:50 AM
It is not possible to identify an unidentified flying object...

But thinking with the mind of an alien, why would aliens need to have flashing lights on their craft? Possibly because they may fear a plane may hit it? No, it was obviously a manmade aircraft, simply was very fast. They must have flashing lights, it's a rule.

posted on Oct, 27 2005 @ 08:52 AM
it is very easy to spot satellites in orbit which move incredibly fast, however they don't have any lights on them and stay the same brightness. You should see lots of these on a clear night. I love watching the sky and I saw a fantastic meoteorite yesterday.


posted on Oct, 27 2005 @ 01:02 PM
I really need to get myself sorted with some decent binoculars, i have'nt got a telescope but i think i'll start with the binos as i can take them anywhere. Any recommendations on magnification size if looking at the usual stuff at night?


posted on Oct, 27 2005 @ 03:27 PM
I used to skywatch frequently, one occasion I had a very strange experience that really unsettled me so much so that I slept with the bedroom light on for 2 nights, sounds so silly now!

I will now only skywatch if I have company!

posted on Oct, 27 2005 @ 05:00 PM

Originally posted by Dr X
it is very easy to spot satellites in orbit which move incredibly fast, however they don't have any lights on them and stay the same brightness. You should see lots of these on a clear night. I love watching the sky and I saw a fantastic meoteorite yesterday.

I've heard that there are some dead satellites (like some of the Iridium "satellite phone" satellites) that tumble while in orbit, and on a REALLY clear night in a dark area you might see a flashing faint object in the sky that is the satellite reflecting light off its solar panels as it rotates quietly in orbit.

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