I just spent a bit of time trying to figure out how fast the UFO is likely to being. Since the uploader claims the video is from a live feed then I'll
assume it isn't a time lapse. If this turns out to be a hoax then I just wasted 2 hours of my life.
It was a fun little problem solving task in
any case.
First I took a snapshot from the video and tried to fit the picture onto a full picture of Earth so that I could get an idea of the size we were
dealing with. The part we see in the video is actually fairly small. The following GIF image shows you how I managed to fit it onto the Earth (pay
attention to the top part). I removed the ISS so that it would look more natural. And I'm not sure if I actually placed it over the correct part of
Earth but it looks pretty good to me.
Next I basically drew some more lines so that I had something useful to work with. My aim at this point was to calculate the circumference of the arc
which we see in the video.
In order to work out the circumference of the arc I needed to know the angle in between the green lines. In these lines is hidden a right angle
triangle which will help me.
To simplify, the picture is rotated 90 degrees clockwise and shows us only the triangle I am interested in. Side lengths are measured in pixels. Some
simple calculations give me the angle.
As it turns out the angle indicated by the question mark is 11.768 degrees. If you look back at the Earth picture you'll see we need to double that
number to get the full angle between the green lines.
So our angle is 23.536 degrees. Now we can use a simple formula to get the circumference of our arc. That formula is
s = θ x (π/180) x r
where
r is the radius, and the radius of Earth is 6378.1 km.
So our answer will look something like this:
s = 23.536 * (pi/180) * 6378.1
= 2620
Thus it appears that the circumference of the Earth arc shown in the video is roughly 2620 km. Next I just measured the position of the UFO at 1
second intervals for 20 seconds.
The UFO seems to follow the curvature of Earth, so if the circumference that we are dealing with is 2620 km, and we use 100 units to measure across
the image, each unit should represent roughly 26.2 km.
Once I measured the position of the UFO at 1 seconds intervals I was able to calculate the distance travelled in those 1 second periods, giving me the
speed in km per seconds.
Then it was simply a case of converting km/s into km/h and graphing the result. The following graph shows the final result of all this work. It
appears to be accelerating at a fairly constant rate.
The measurements start at 0:20 when the speed is around 37,728 km/h. The measurements end at 0:40 (20 seconds later) when the speed is around 292,392
km/h.
edit on 26-5-2012 by ChaoticOrder because: (no reason given)