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Insanely bright star/planet seen 4am GMT in England 16/09/2007?

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posted on Sep, 22 2007 @ 12:48 AM
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I should have posted this sooner, but I've been a bit busy lately. I saw a strange sight in the sky last Sunday morning, 16th September at about 4am near Portsmouth, England.

I had been out with my gf for her birthday round a friends house, and when it got to about 4 we got a taxi back home. The taxi driver was chatting away with my gf as I'm scanning the skies, and I caught a flash out of the corner of my eye. My gf saw this too and instantly nudged me to show me what I was already looking at - an extremely bright object completely outshining everything else in the pretty much clear night sky.

As the taxi was moving, we both commented that the object in question appeared to be moving. At one point in the journey, the road we were travelling down was dead straight for quite a distance, and this "light" seemed to move alongside us, but faster? I know how things can seem when you are moving in a car however, but it did seem to "catch up" with us (in a parallel fashion, this object did not seem close!)

Also as we travelled, it appeared to flicker in and out.. It didn't seem like clouds or tree's blocking the view.. It also had a strange appearance like it was cut in half horizontally, but it's over bright look almost masked this.

When the taxi arrived at our destination, we paid and both got out. This light was apparantly a thumb length or so over the top of my house, and we both stood in awe looking at it for a good few minutes, til I remembered my gf had her phone with her. We took two pretty short clips (one normal, one night vision) and headed inside.

I got a better look at it from inside my house, out the back, where there are no street lights. Not that it mattered much - it was so bright that it outshone anything I or my gf have ever seen in the night sky before by a large amount. It was kind of close to the Big Dipper in the sky, if you take the last two stars that make up the "ramp" to the Big Dipper, and draw a line vertically down from the right most star, it was about 4 lengths out from here.

I checked Google Sky for any possibilities, the only thing I could find was that it may have been Saturn. I expected to find a bunch of references to a bright Saturn on this date (I have seen some bright ones before) but turned nothing up. It really was the brightest thing I have ever seen in the sky, yet it appears nobody else saw its magnificence! (I have checked many places for threads!)

Can anybody confirm an extremely bright Saturn for this date, viewed from the UK? Would an extremely bright Saturn appear to have two "halves", so very slightly? It was like as you looked at it, it showed a horizontal split flickering in and out.. I still can't believe what I saw that night, I'm glad I was with my gf tho cos if I saw it on my own I probably wouldn't have said anything to anyone!


EDIT: Just saw another thread posted with a similar sighting, this was definitely as East as you could get (my house faces dead West, it was over my house as I looked at my house from the front)

If it was Saturn/Venus (I guess Saturn for the "split), why is it so bright?

[edit on 22-9-2007 by adjay]




posted on Sep, 22 2007 @ 03:40 AM
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I believe it's Venus. I saw it too, around 31'n 110'w in the desert southwest USA crystal clear night. It was in the right time and place and it was BRIGHT! I thought I was seeing an air ambulance with it's landing lights on doing a low departure but it didn't move or make noise. I pointed it out to a couple people that were still up at ~5am.

IIRC next year Venus is the brightest in it's 40 year cycle.



posted on Sep, 22 2007 @ 04:00 AM
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Been some spectacular views of Venus recently as it rises in the Eastern skies early morning. I'm up and about at 4:45 every morning and it's been the first thing I've seen (weather permitting) each morning for the last week or so.
Even by 7AM when I'm already in the office it's still the brightest object in the lightening sky.



posted on Sep, 22 2007 @ 04:07 AM
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I think it was Monday gone, I was early for work (atm I start at 20:00 UK) so i was waiting around outside from 19.20. The road runs almost exactly east west. I'm looking to the west as the daylight disappears and I can see a bright (for day light) star *through* slight cloud. Prob bout 30 deg elevation but I'm not good at that.

P.s view point nr Plymouth UK



posted on Sep, 22 2007 @ 04:09 AM
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Got a great view of it from country Australia as well. I've seen Venus lots of times before, but it really made me do a double take on Wednesday morning - as others have remarked is BRIGHT. I was close to an airport an initially thought it was a plane coming in to land, until I realised it wasn't moving that much. Definitely worth getting up early to take a look at.



posted on Sep, 22 2007 @ 04:11 AM
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Theres a chap who videod something on this thread and says it was a UFO, I suspect he saw the same thing as you

www.abovetopsecret.com...



posted on Sep, 22 2007 @ 04:53 AM
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Originally posted by adjay
I should have posted this sooner, but I've been a bit busy lately. I saw a strange sight in the sky last Sunday morning, 16th September at about 4am near Portsmouth, England.

I had been out with my gf for her birthday round a friends house, and when it got to about 4 we got a taxi back home. The taxi driver was chatting away with my gf as I'm scanning the skies, and I caught a flash out of the corner of my eye. My gf saw this too and instantly nudged me to show me what I was already looking at - an extremely bright object completely outshining everything else in the pretty much clear night sky.

As the taxi was moving, we both commented that the object in question appeared to be moving. At one point in the journey, the road we were travelling down was dead straight for quite a distance, and this "light" seemed to move alongside us, but faster? I know how things can seem when you are moving in a car however, but it did seem to "catch up" with us (in a parallel fashion, this object did not seem close!)

Also as we travelled, it appeared to flicker in and out.. It didn't seem like clouds or tree's blocking the view.. It also had a strange appearance like it was cut in half horizontally, but it's over bright look almost masked this.

When the taxi arrived at our destination, we paid and both got out. This light was apparantly a thumb length or so over the top of my house, and we both stood in awe looking at it for a good few minutes, til I remembered my gf had her phone with her. We took two pretty short clips (one normal, one night vision) and headed inside.

I got a better look at it from inside my house, out the back, where there are no street lights. Not that it mattered much - it was so bright that it outshone anything I or my gf have ever seen in the night sky before by a large amount. It was kind of close to the Big Dipper in the sky, if you take the last two stars that make up the "ramp" to the Big Dipper, and draw a line vertically down from the right most star, it was about 4 lengths out from here.

I checked Google Sky for any possibilities, the only thing I could find was that it may have been Saturn. I expected to find a bunch of references to a bright Saturn on this date (I have seen some bright ones before) but turned nothing up. It really was the brightest thing I have ever seen in the sky, yet it appears nobody else saw its magnificence! (I have checked many places for threads!)

Can anybody confirm an extremely bright Saturn for this date, viewed from the UK? Would an extremely bright Saturn appear to have two "halves", so very slightly? It was like as you looked at it, it showed a horizontal split flickering in and out.. I still can't believe what I saw that night, I'm glad I was with my gf tho cos if I saw it on my own I probably wouldn't have said anything to anyone!


EDIT: Just saw another thread posted with a similar sighting, this was definitely as East as you could get (my house faces dead West, it was over my house as I looked at my house from the front)

If it was Saturn/Venus (I guess Saturn for the "split), why is it so bright?

[edit on 22-9-2007 by adjay]


Hi Adjay,

Thanks for posting. You definitley saw Venus, hanging low on the Eastern horizon. I've been getting up early to observe it recently. The reason it weould have looked strange is because it was only about 12% illuminated (i.e it's a thin cresent). Venus is very close, but as it gets further away the phase will increase (just like the phases of the Moon) until it passes behind the sun and reappears in the evening sky. Did you know that when Venus is at it's brightest, it can even cast shadows?



posted on Sep, 23 2007 @ 12:54 PM
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Chorlton: I checked that thread, and it was very different to that picture.

Timelike: Thanks for that information (and everyone else :up
. Two things come to mind still regarding this:

1. If this was Venus (which I think it was), and it was 12% illuminated.. My god! If I ever saw it at 100% illumination I would think it would blind me! It didn't appear like a crescent either, if I could liken it to anything it looked like a small baby Ike's head from South Park.. But the two halves were the most blindingly brilliant white.. And occasionally would appear to almost join for a brief moment, before seeming seperated again. Any idea's as to why? (Nothing in our atmosphere was causing this for certain)

2. What is the astronomical/scientific reason for the brightness of Venus like this? Am I right in thinking it's what DezertSkies posted, the 40 year cycle of Venus would reflect the Sun more to Earth at a peak?

I just thought a possible reason for the appearance of "two halves" - is this what the "crescent" appearance would take to the naked eye? I can imagine the saturated light from the two ends of the crescent may create the illusion of being in two halves.



posted on Sep, 24 2007 @ 05:32 AM
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Originally posted by adjay
Chorlton: I checked that thread, and it was very different to that picture.

Timelike: Thanks for that information (and everyone else :up
. Two things come to mind still regarding this:

1. If this was Venus (which I think it was), and it was 12% illuminated.. My god! If I ever saw it at 100% illumination I would think it would blind me! It didn't appear like a crescent either, if I could liken it to anything it looked like a small baby Ike's head from South Park.. But the two halves were the most blindingly brilliant white.. And occasionally would appear to almost join for a brief moment, before seeming seperated again. Any idea's as to why? (Nothing in our atmosphere was causing this for certain)

2. What is the astronomical/scientific reason for the brightness of Venus like this? Am I right in thinking it's what DezertSkies posted, the 40 year cycle of Venus would reflect the Sun more to Earth at a peak?

I just thought a possible reason for the appearance of "two halves" - is this what the "crescent" appearance would take to the naked eye? I can imagine the saturated light from the two ends of the crescent may create the illusion of being in two halves.


He Adjay,

here's some answers to your questions.

1. Firstly, believe it or not when Venus is 100% illuminated it's actually much fainter because by that point it is a long way away from us in it's orbit (in fact we never see it 100% full since it is then behind the sun). Venus gets brighter and its phase decreases as we it approach is us it then becomes "new" just like the moon then swings away from us again up to 100%.

Now although the atmosphere may appear clean and clear this is not the case for objects low down on the horizon. Venus is particularly low when you saw it, and the light from Venus has a lot more atmosphere to come through. The light gets bent and distorted (rather like a stone in a pond. The stones near the edge are easier to see, the ones further in appear in different places from where they are because the light is being bent by the water)

Don't forget the atmosphere is like a fluid and it's turbulent due to heating and cooling- shaking light up and down. On occasions it has mad me think that Jupiter was moving rapidly across the sky! These effects can do very strange things and if you don't know what you're looking at, the brain will fill in the missing pieces with what it thinks is there.

2. Why is Venus so bright? Well the reason is simple- Venus is completely shrouded by clouds. These clouds are highly reflective and do two things: they trap in the heat so the surface of Venus is hotter than the planet Mercury- the closest planet to the sun), two they reflect a lot of sunlight into space. Unlike Earth, the cloud depth on Venus is about 15 miles thick, and no telescope will show the surface of Venus. The clouds never part!

Now, if you can, get a pair of binoculars go and have a look at it- it' well worth it!!!!



posted on Sep, 24 2007 @ 07:55 AM
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reply to post by timelike
 




Thanks again timelike!

Would you agree the reason for it appearing to show itself in two halves is due to it being so bright, and its phase making it appear like a crescent? I wish my gf kept things like mobile phone cables.. I'd put the video here (it's crap on her phone but her phone has a better camera than lcd display!).. It was mainly this "two halves" appearance that was throwing me, making it much more enigmatic and magnificent! And also making me initially think of Saturn!

I thank you for educating me on many things, I'm happy to learn 1 new thing a day but I've got a few week's worth in this thread alone.



posted on Sep, 25 2007 @ 03:26 AM
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Originally posted by adjay
reply to post by timelike
 




Thanks again timelike!

Would you agree the reason for it appearing to show itself in two halves is due to it being so bright, and its phase making it appear like a crescent? I wish my gf kept things like mobile phone cables.. I'd put the video here (it's crap on her phone but her phone has a better camera than lcd display!).. It was mainly this "two halves" appearance that was throwing me, making it much more enigmatic and magnificent! And also making me initially think of Saturn!

I thank you for educating me on many things, I'm happy to learn 1 new thing a day but I've got a few week's worth in this thread alone.


Hi Adjay,

I do agree, with Venus being a bright crescent and low down, it might appear very strange, I can just about see the phase with the naked eye, but I have to concentrate!

Anyhow, glad to be of service!!!!



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