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Why don't astronomers report UFOs more frequently?
Over the centuries amateur and professional astronomers have chased their share of interesting and unusual astronomical events. Some have proved to be new and exciting. However, many turned out to be explainable and somewhat mundane. It is interesting to note that amateurs will continue to report these events when they do see them and are not likely to hold back in reporting their observations if they feel they are valid. Would amateur astronomers continue this openness if they actually saw an unidentified object passing through the sky during an observing session?
UFOlogy wants the astronomer connection to work in one direction only. If an astronomer reports a UFO, it is accepted at face value as a good report of something new and exotic. When an astronomer observes what others perceive to be a UFO and can offer a prosaic expanation based on their observations they are ridiculed or labeled a "debunker". If an astronomer is out observing when a UFO event occurs and sees nothing, they are ignored. The reason they are ignored is because most UFOlogists are under a serious misconception about astronomers. They explain that astronomers are too busy looking through the narrow field of view in their eyepiece to see these UFO events! For instance Chris Rutowski writes:
...amateur astronomers aren't interested in moving lights in the sky any more than they are in identifiable aircraft. The ones I hang out with want to do some specific imaging of nebulas and galaxies, and spend a lot of time looking through eyepieces with tiny fields of view. Of course, many have now switched to computer-guided scopes and spend their time in warm-up rooms, often miles away from the telescope itself. Professional astronomers are even worse in terms of observation. Few actually DO any optical observations. Many haven't looked through a telescope or spent any time looking at constellations since their undergraduate days. (Rutowski)
Unfortunately, Rutowski is misrepresenting what many amateur astronomers do...
Originally posted by synchro
I've often wondered if a computer program used to control an array of cameras has ever been written to scan the sky for shapes, movement, etc. similar to that described by UFO witnesses/videos and record them. Then, after all the airplanes, helicopters and other identifiable subjects in the footage have been sifted through, perhaps some interesting video could be obtained this way. Anyone ever heard of anything like this being done?