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Something In the Sky, What Did I See?

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posted on Feb, 20 2009 @ 03:52 PM
I Saw A “Star” Wink-Out. Who Knows What This Was?

I am an habitual stargazer and skywatcher. I looked up toward Virgo and noticed a bright “star” that wasn’t supposed to be there. As soon as I realized this, it “winked out.”
Just disappeared.

I can think of three possible explanations, but I don’t know which, if any, it was:

1. the last flash of a tumbling satellite as it entered shadow (except it was not in a place where I usually track them, wasn’t moving, and it was well past dusk, about 8 p.m. ET)

2. a meteor on a plane with my line of sight that burned out as I looked up

3. an electrical atmospheric phenomenon such as “sprites” or a plasma burst (these are not agreed to exist).

I’ve seen many things I can’t explain, such as a satellite change directions, but that’s a different story.

Any ideas what I saw this time? I’ve not asked anyone before, but figured you guys were probably the best source for info.

I’m leaning toward the meteor.


Deny ignorance.


posted on Feb, 20 2009 @ 04:01 PM
Iridium satellite flare - they are amazing to see when you get bright ones.

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 antenna faces the direction in which the satellite is travelling. Occasionally an antenna will reflect sunlight directly 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 few seconds. Ranging up to -8 magnitude (rarely to a brilliant -9.5)[1], some of the flares are so bright that they can be seen at daytime; but they are most impressive at night. This flashing has been some annoyance to astronomers, as the flares occasionally disturb observations and can damage sensitive equipment.


I once had one travel almost horizon to horizon reflecting bright enough to appear like a star-burst. Others I have seen are quick like a bulb flash going off. It's amazing what you can see when you look up.

Edit: For Friday afternoon spelling abilities.

[edit on 20-2-2009 by airteck]

posted on Feb, 20 2009 @ 04:12 PM
reply to post by airteck

I'd considered iridium flares/satellite, but this was not the correct spot for any iridium I know of.

I've even seen 'em in daylight but not at about 60 to 70 degrees above the Eastern horizon. Is there one that passes there?

It couldv'e been illuminated even at that hour, just not sure about the orbital path.

I'll look at Heavens Above. Thanks again.


posted on Feb, 20 2009 @ 04:20 PM
Check this site to see if it was an iridium flare. They can occur anywhere in the sky. Set your location then click for an iridium prediction. In the screen for the current prediction there is a link for previous predictions.

A meteor is a possibility. Very brief meteors occur, sometimes showing no visible trail. If a meteor is flying directly, or nearly directly in your direction it can appear stationary and display no trail.

Sprites are a phenomenon associated with thunderstorms. I'd say this is the least likely.

I see you know about heavens-above

[edit on 2/20/2009 by Phage]

posted on Feb, 21 2009 @ 10:23 AM
It might have been junk or a satellite, but as Phage says it could well be what is known as a 'point-meteor'.

These are fairly rare and usually only seen during meteor shower peaks, but from time to time a random meteor can be seen doing this, if you happen to be in the right place at the right time.

Also agree with Phage that it's unlikely you saw anything like a sprite/jet.

I haven't got any footage of sprites, but here is some footage of gigantic jets.

posted on Feb, 21 2009 @ 10:24 AM
its that strange star.

posted on Feb, 22 2009 @ 09:51 PM
Reply to post by C.H.U.D.Thanks for that. I've never seen anything like it and I'm out just about every clear night, even if for only 15 minutes or so, just to se what's "up."

Reply to post by Kyoto111Meteor is going to be where I leave it for now (unless I change my mind; still thinking about Iridium satellites/flares, though)


posted on Jul, 16 2009 @ 11:54 AM
Last night at approx. 10 pm in North Central Texas, I looked up approx. 80 degrees from horizon and saw what looked like a star moving South to North. I watched it for about a minute, then it stopped in mid- flight and slowly faded away. What was this? This is the second time I've seen this same light in the last couple of weeks. I went to Heavens Above and it says this for the last 48 hrs...
I need help interpreting this. Am I correct to think there were none last night? and if there weren't, should I report this to MUFON?
The website shows the ISS not orbiting the US right now.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

posted on Jul, 16 2009 @ 01:25 PM
Phage? Anyone??
Can you please answer?

posted on Jul, 16 2009 @ 01:55 PM
reply to post by sickofitall2012

It seems you didn't set your location so you're seeing the prediction for central Europe. But there was one Iridium flare visible in north central Texas last night (I used Witchita Falls) at 11:00. Iridium flares are very sensitive to location so you'll need to set your actual location.

There was a reasonably bright (but not spectacular) pass of another satellite at 10:00. It faded out (into the Earth's shadow) fairly high in the sky, 29º above the eastern horizon

[edit on 7/16/2009 by Phage]

posted on Jul, 16 2009 @ 02:22 PM
reply to post by Phage

Thanks, Phage. We can always count on you. I see what I did wrong. I went to the site and entered my location. I don't see the 10 o'clock one, all I see is one over my area at 22:51. I am not mistaken about the time I witnessed the ??? I went straight to bed after that and looked at my atomic alarm clock to set it, it was 10:10. Here's what it shows for my location...
15 Jul 04:33:34 -2 17° 111° (ESE) 76.0 km (E) -6
15 Jul 22:51:36 -7 32° 70° (ENE) 8.1 km (E) -8 Iridium 6
Am I mistaken again? Sorry for being such a rookie

posted on Jul, 16 2009 @ 02:28 PM
reply to post by sickofitall2012

You're reading it right but you're just looking at the Iridium flares. Check the other items as well.

Daily predictions for all satellites brighter than magnitude:

(brightest) 3.5 | 4.0 | 4.5 (dimmest)

That's where you'll find the TRMM. The timing seems right for it. It appeared at 10:06 and disappeared at 10:11 (over Witchita falls anyway).

posted on Jul, 22 2009 @ 01:22 PM
Its probably some military tests going on.
Do you live out in the desrt near Nevada or Arizina ir any of those areas?

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