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What Comet is in Tonight's Night Sky? (solved)

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posted on Dec, 10 2007 @ 07:16 PM
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thanks defcon, that's interesting.

I didn't notice any change of shape though, the tail had that typical comet type ">" trail when I saw it and it was extremely bright.




posted on Dec, 10 2007 @ 07:17 PM
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NROL-24 launched from Canaveral at 5:04PM. It's a classified payload for the NRO. It was on the top of an Atlas 5, with no solid rocket boosters, and a 4 meter faring. That was the only rocket launch today anywhere.



posted on Dec, 10 2007 @ 07:30 PM
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reply to post by worldwatcher
 


World Watcher, I saw it as well at about 7:20, I'm in NC and was out looking for Holmes when I saw it off to the left (north) of where I know Holmes was (haven't seen it in a while) and over Cassiopeia I saw a hazy, comet shaped cloud, heading west, from my position.

Went out to check about 20 minutes later and it was gone. I've heard that folks in Georgia also saw it.



posted on Dec, 10 2007 @ 07:35 PM
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Just letting you know that I and my family saw the same thing up here in Canada tonight. Moving fron west to east and then fading out of sight. Nice cone shaped tail and the main body was bright white in colour changing to orange then gone. The tail stayed afterwards for about 5 mins before disapppearing.



posted on Dec, 10 2007 @ 07:36 PM
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thanks zaph... think it was that? 2 hours later????

and thanks vik and canuck, hmmm this is getting interesting.

[edit on 12-10-2007 by worldwatcher]



posted on Dec, 10 2007 @ 07:44 PM
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It looks like it went up on time. It's possible that PART of the trail lingered for a couple of hours. In my opinion it's not likely, but it's definitely possible.



posted on Dec, 10 2007 @ 07:51 PM
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We live in North Ga., we saw the same thing about an hour ago. It is unbelievably warm in Ga. (73 degrees at 7pm) so my kids and I were outside looking at xmas lights. My son is very in to UFO's right now and pointed at the comet?, it was VERY obvious and looked exactly like the Holmes pics. so I just assumed thats what it was, although my son and I were very surprised that we were still able to see Holmes and even more shocked at how large and prominate it was. Now I have no idea if it was actually Holmes but I know it was definatly not a meteor not anything remotely like a meteor.



posted on Dec, 10 2007 @ 07:52 PM
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What was that? I saw it toward the west shortly before 7PM. I'm up on Signal Mountain outside Chattanooga. Glad I wasn't the only one.



posted on Dec, 10 2007 @ 07:54 PM
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reply to post by Vikturtle
 



Yes exactly how Viking described it. Exact time, position and description.



posted on Dec, 10 2007 @ 08:01 PM
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I am pretty sure it was that rocket launch. There was one here a few months back, early in the morning and it left a larger but similar luminescent cloud behind. It only happens when they launch a staged rocket, and not the shuttle. The cloud has something to do with when the stages separate. I even told my brother that I suspected that it was a rocket stage separation from a launch out of the cape. I saw the trail around 1800 before dark, and it was about an hour or so later that I got the call and went outside to see the supposed “comet”. So the trail had time to move and disperse some from the time of launch until after sun down when it started to glow in the dark.



posted on Dec, 10 2007 @ 08:03 PM
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wow this is great.. I'm relieved that me and my neighbors weren't the only ones to witness this interesting "object". And thanks for letting me know this was "larger" event and not a local thing.

I've emailed our local South Florida Astronomers Association... hopefully someone will reply and can tell us what it is.



posted on Dec, 10 2007 @ 08:16 PM
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Perhaps this was it?
www.spaceweather.com...



posted on Dec, 10 2007 @ 08:23 PM
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reply to post by Vikturtle
 


Yep, that was it, rocket staging….

"Two objects streaking through the cloud suggested the possibility of a rocket burn or fuel dump"--and that is the correct explanation. This cloud mimicking Comet 17P/Holmes is fuel dumped from the upper stage of an Atlas rocket that launched a classified satellite into orbit for the National Reconnaissance Office earlier this evening. It was a splendid display, now faded away.


Good find.



posted on Dec, 10 2007 @ 08:27 PM
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thanks vikturtle


at least I have an answer now and can sleep easier tonight, instead of dreaming of surprise wayward comets


[edit on 12-10-2007 by worldwatcher]



posted on Dec, 10 2007 @ 08:44 PM
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Now I want everyone to make a mental note of how visible that this classified launch was, so you can remember it the next time you visit on of those secret space station/secret space program threads…






posted on Dec, 10 2007 @ 09:52 PM
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found out a bit more.. the launch itself wasn't really classified, it's the satellite it took up whose purpose is classified.


Atlas 5 Rocket Launches Classified U.S. Satellite

2355 GMT (6:55 p.m. EST)

The spent Centaur upper stage for today's launch is creating a stunning view over Cape Canaveral right now. After successfully hauling its clandestine payload into orbit, the upper stage is dumping residual propellant overboard that creates a bright fan-shaped cloud in the night sky as the rocket flies overhead. This is a special treat adding to the beautiful liftoff witnessed nearly two hours ago.




posted on Dec, 10 2007 @ 09:58 PM
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I wonder just how often this dumping of fuel happens? It can't be a good thing for the atmosphere. It would seem that the least they could do is have a way to burn the excess fuel rather than let it form acid rain or whatever.



posted on Dec, 10 2007 @ 10:16 PM
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It's quite a junkyard up there, so I don't think anyone is worried about the fuel burn. It probably is too high to fall back to earth, whatever residue is left probably just floats around up there..



posted on Dec, 11 2007 @ 05:51 AM
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reply to post by NGC2736
 


I hardly think the Fule from a few rockets would be of any harm to the environment.

If it were 10'000's of rockets a year, yes. but otherwise your only talking about one or two tons dispersed over a vast area.

When you think about the effects a Volcanic eruption has on the atmosephere or a Forest fire or 10,000,000's ov vehicles emmitting CO2 on a daily basis.

This really is nothing.

Thats even if it dose fall back to earth, which at that altitude I highly doubt.



posted on Dec, 11 2007 @ 06:30 AM
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Fuel dump. Atlas rocket. Classified satellite launch.



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