posted on Nov, 18 2011 @ 07:11 AM
Last night (11/17/11) I was looking up at the sky at approximately 11:00 pm CST in Illinois, USA. I was struck by how luminous and clear the
constellation of Orion appeared and paused to watch for a moment out of shear aesthetic appreciation. After a moment I noticed that Betelgeuse (the
upper-left 'shoulder' of orion) (OUR left, that is) was both brighter than it usually appeared in my city and looked... odd. After a few moments of
closer inspection I realized that the reason that it looked strange was that it seemed to be two points of light. That is, Betelgeuse appeared to be a
binary star all of a sudden.
For those of you not up on your stellar neighborhood's major players, Betelgeuse is a staggeringly ginormous star known as a red giant, which, were
it placed in the same position as that of our sun, would extend out past the orbit of Earth. It does NOT have a companion star that's visible from
Yet I was quite clearly seeing two lights there, aligned roughly parallel with the horizon. I looked at several of the brighter stars in the sky for
comparison and saw nothing similar, yet, even after rubbing my eyes and trying hard to find any distortions in my visual field, any glance back at
Betelgeuse showed the same double-pinprick effect. True, it was subtle, and someone without decent eyesight probably wouldn't notice, but I can
clearly see one of polaris' companions and that's a much subtler feature of the sky than this was. (An ancient eyesight test of some Native American
tribes was the ability to discern that Polaris was a double star, or so I have been led to believe. Could be urban legend.)
This wasn't a satellite (I know what those generally look like). This was not moving in relation to the stars over the course of the few minutes I
watched. The two sources were of approximately the same magnitude and separated by, approximately, less than a degree. They seemed to be about the
Now, I can theorize and speculate alongside the best of them. Mirage, thermal inversion causing a doubling effect, autosuggestion, alien spacecraft
hiding in the starfield imperfectly, flying spaghetti monster throwing a rave, whatever. I'm frankly uninterested in people trying to explain (or
explain away) my perceptions. Without evidence, I have no reason to grant more credence to any one explanation over any other.
What I AM interested in is, did anyone else see anything similar?
Thank you for your time.