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some questions before I call this one a UFO sighting

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posted on Mar, 16 2008 @ 06:26 PM
Standing in my backyard last night my girl and I saw a 'shooting start'. No problem, just a small meteorite burning up on atmospheric entry. But then from the same part of the sky, a solidly lit dot moved from SW to NW. It was moving at a constant rate. It took about a minute to get across the entire sky. As it went to the NW, it glowed red and disappeared.
Both of us thought that this was a satellite, but to prove this I would ask a couple of questions from you folks as I've never seen a satellite before and wanted to know:

1) How long would it take an orbiting satellite to traverse the visible sky? (from horizon to horizon)

2) Does it glow at night ? (or reflect the moon's light)

After this we saw some irregular flashes in the sky but couldn't make any more of it. It was a flash after an irregular flash, then a big red flash that I felt was like someone looking at me because the light felt and looked as if it was pointed at me... weird. This then disappeared.

So for my own sanity of nothing else I just wanted to find out whether it was a satellite that we saw that night of quite an active night sky.


[edit on 16-3-2008 by FlakeMaker]

posted on Mar, 16 2008 @ 06:42 PM
reply to post by FlakeMaker

It's a little hard to say without your location. More than likely it was a satellite as they appear to be 'moving stars', or maybe an iridium flare.

Satellite flare

Satellite flare (also known as satellite glint) is the phenomenon caused by the reflective surfaces on satellites (such as antennas or solar panels) reflecting sunlight directly onto the Earth below and appearing as a brief, bright "flare".

Iridium satellite flare

The Iridium communication satellites have a peculiar shape with three polished door-sized antennas, 120 degrees apart and at 40 degree angles with the main bus. The forward mirror faces the direction in which the satellite is travelling. Occasionally an antenna will directly reflect sunlight down to the Earth, creating a predictable and quickly moving illuminated spot of about 10 km diameter. To an observer this looks like an extremely bright flare in the sky with a duration of a couple of seconds.


Here are a couple of great sites that may help you figure out what you saw.

Nasa Space Flight

Just enter your location to the left of the page.


Heavens Above

Under "Configuration" click on 'from database' to enter your location.

Hope this helps.

posted on Mar, 16 2008 @ 06:55 PM
I've done a fair bit of sky watching so I've seen meteorite showers,shooting stars and satellites.
Satellites I've seen from southern Alberta usually look reddish and move at a constant speed and travel with a bit of an arc (not a straight line).

posted on Mar, 16 2008 @ 07:26 PM
reply to post by citizen truth

Unless it is a geostationary satellite...

A geostationary satellite is an earth-orbiting satellite, placed at an altitude of approximately 35,800 kilometers (22,300 miles) directly over the equator, that revolves in the same direction the earth rotates (west to east). At this altitude, one orbit takes 24 hours, the same length of time as the earth requires to rotate once on its axis. The term geostationary comes from the fact that such a satellite appears nearly stationary in the sky as seen by a ground-based observer.


posted on Mar, 16 2008 @ 08:04 PM
Thanks guys.
Sorry about omitting location details
I am in Adelaide South Australia. This happened at approx 9pm local time (+9:30 GMT)

The moving thing we saw was fairly bright (like a bright star). Not reddish, it was only reddish during the last few seconds when I thought its reflection angle off the moon no longer allowed for the reflection to exist. We discounted the object's glow due to the half moon's light reflecting off the object, because it was the same blue-white glow that the moon is. So the object stopped glowing, turned reddish and disappeared within a few seconds at about 70% of the way across the sky. We though it stopped glowing and faded away because it no longer had the glow of the moon to reflect off of. But what I found curious is that it faded away in the NW part of the sky. Should a satellite not keep going over the horizon if it's orbiting the earth?

What amazed me too was the speed at which it was moving. It crossed the sky directly above me. It took about a minute to cross the entire sky. So the thing that I'd like to find out is how fast does an object have to travel to cross the visible sky directly over my head? If a satellite can do it at that speed, fine. Otherwise it was something else.

here's a quick pic of the above event

[edit on 16-3-2008 by FlakeMaker]

posted on Mar, 17 2008 @ 03:02 AM
I posted this in another similar thread, responding to UFO activity in Brisbane on Saturday night. It might be what you saw. It was very very bright and was travelling in a similar direction to what you might have witnessed. Who knows?

"The ISS passed overhead in orbit on Saturday night around 8.33pm over the skies of Melbourne. It was on a trajectory that would have taken it past Brisbane many minutes later.

There was a report in Saturday's Melbourne Herald-Sun that tipped-off all of us skywatchers to go outside and see it. Despite moderate cloud-cover, I still saw it. Yeah, it was that bright. If I did not know any different, then I could understand how many people would have been unsure what it was.

It was brighter than Sirius and moved at a reasonable pace across the sky. You would have seen the same thing in Brisbane too."

posted on Mar, 17 2008 @ 05:28 AM
reply to post by tezzajw

Try to catch it after the shuttle undocks. When they are both in (lower) orbit it looks like two very bright stars, one chasing the other. It's quite beautiful.

The additional solar panels added last year make the iss even brighter.

posted on Mar, 17 2008 @ 05:35 PM
Thanks very much all for your info here.

now that I've seen an IFO, I'll be looking out for a UFO

posted on Mar, 17 2008 @ 06:02 PM
Sounds like the ISS to me, go and look to see if it flew by at that time..

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