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What did I see in the sky last week?

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posted on Feb, 17 2009 @ 12:22 AM
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Sometime last week(wednesday I think), around 5PM, I was picking up my sister from work. I suddently noticed a *big* flash in the sky and pointed it out to my sister. The flash lasted no more than 20 seconds and it slowly turned to a regular sized dot in the sky (the flash was about 4 to 6 times brighter than the regular dot).

I kind of freaked out when I saw all the 'Jupiter ignited' threads today because me sister joked that Venus had exploded


Anyways, I'm sure that what we saw is a planet because we see it every night though not at the same spot as before, and I assume that the conditions were just right for us to see the flash (ie. I don't think it exploded, but that light got reflected at some weird angle).

It's position was about 60 degrees above the horizon (facing West, above the setting Sun). My location is the state of virginia.

So the questions are:
Are these kind of flashes common at sunset/sunrise?
What planet were we looking at? I think my sis is right with Venus, but just want to make sure.


[edit on 17-2-2009 by daniel_g]




posted on Feb, 17 2009 @ 12:42 AM
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That sounds like an Iridium flare... The Iridium satellites have these solar panels and when they catch the sun you can see something like you described - even in daylight sometimes.

They can be predicted very accurately as well - check out www.heavens-above.com shove in your exact position (use something like google maps to get your lat / long and height above sea level) and it will give you all the ones comming up in the next 7 days! as well as things like the space stations and other sats.


Although I don't think you can go back to see past events.



posted on Feb, 17 2009 @ 09:29 PM
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reply to post by Now_Then
 


Thanks, I looked up a video of those iridium flares and found this:



exactly what we saw, except that it was in the evening sky and the object, whatever it was, was moving much slower (or not moving at all, didn't have much reference points + we were in a moving vehicle making it harder to trace a path)



[edit on 17-2-2009 by daniel_g]



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