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Learning Help Needed: Identifying UFOs - For beginners (or dummies)

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posted on Nov, 9 2009 @ 05:27 AM
Hello all,

I need some help identifying an object in the sky. I have seen it regularly every night in the same position for the last two weeks. So I am pretty certain it is a satellite and not a UFO.

But I need some help in identifying it as this is the first time I have started noticing it.

I live in Thailand and around 10pm or 11pm local time, looking outside on my balcony I have noticed an object in the sky, in the same position everyday for the last two weeks. At first I thought it was a UFO because it flashes different lights (red, blue, green, white and I think yellow).

About the lights, they don't flash like the rear lights of an aeroplane (twin red lights and a white light), instead they flash in a kind of sequence effect like the lights are rotating around the object.

As I mentioned, I thought it was a UFO because if it were a plane it would have travelled across the sky or slowly became bigger (coming towards my view) or eventually disappearing (going away from my view). None of these happen. So I thought it might be a helicopter because it just stayed in the same position and as it is too far away I can't tell if it hovers up and down slightly, but I have watched it most nights for about 40 minutes while smoking on my balcony and reading a book and I have also gone back in the house watched TV for a lengthy period like an hour or an hour and a half and the object is still in the same position. I assume a helicopter will not hover for that length of time.

Which leads me to my final conclusion that it is a satellite. But I always thought satellites where too far away to notice the lights on it. I mean I can see with my naked eye the changes in colours and my girlfriend has also looked at it and told me she saw the same colours change as I did. I know it is lower down in the sky because it is very noticeable with many stars behind it. This is why I am unable to identify it, thinking it was a UFO.

I have tried to record the image on my mobile phone and digital Sony camera but the object is too far away for my camera's zoom and my camera's are not made to focus on objects far away in darkness (if I zoomed in, the picture gets really pixelated and in-between me and the object the camera records all the buzzing night life of the insect world.. I don't have a telescope or binoculars either to study it. I am going to try and borrow a friends camera and try and take some pictures if I can with a better lens.

Like I have said I am almost certain it's a satellite but I would welcome people's opinion who has more knowledge and experience on these sort of things.

Kindest regards,

[edit on 9-11-2009 by eclectic.thoughts]

[edit on 9-11-2009 by eclectic.thoughts]

posted on Nov, 9 2009 @ 05:52 AM
I just watched some videos either here or on YouTube that explained EXACTLY
how you can tell the difference!!

posted on Nov, 9 2009 @ 06:01 AM
reply to post by eclectic.thoughts

Hi eclectic.thoughts, By your description it doesn't sound like a satellite, they tend to move across the sky in a matter of seconds.

Have a look through this thread HERE to assist with identifying what you saw.

If you're still unsure, could you provide the direction of what you're seeing is in.

I have a suspicion that it may be Jupiter which is setting in the west and very bright at that time of night.

[edit on 9/11/09 by Chadwickus]

posted on Nov, 9 2009 @ 06:45 AM
Wow thank you SmokeyDawn and Chadwickus.

This now confuses to me because I have just watch the video SmokeyDawn and I can definitely say the object I saw does not move at all. It does not move pass stars (like I referred in my OP thinking it cannot be an aeroplane). It just stays in the sky still but flashing. Also on the video the satellite is close enough to see a flashing light (beacon I presume) but not to determine what colours they are. I again can confirm I have seen multiple colours from my object.

I have looked at the Heaven's Above website and will read up on the positioning of the local constellations above my house and try to confirm the longitude and latitude etc. Your help has definitely triggered my curiousity and I am going to see if I can write down everything about it tonight and see if I can take some pictures with another friend of mine.

Thank you again, I will keep you posted with hopefully more information tomorrow.

Kindest regards,

posted on Nov, 9 2009 @ 07:13 AM
Thank YOU for sharing!!

And please do let us know what you discover!

posted on Nov, 10 2009 @ 02:51 AM
Hello again,

Ok after last night's observation with three sceptical friends and a camera, I can now confirm it is NOT a UFO. I am sorry for misleading with my initial post.

We worked out that it must be a satellite travelling away from the earth's rotational axis (the same direction as the stars moving in the sky).

I have attached an image below of Orion's belt. If you can imagine the constellation where Orion's belt is vertical and not horizontal in the night sky, this is what we saw last night. And at the same time about 11pm local time the object appeared below the star of Saiph but it must have appeared over the horizon as the stars did, when they moved up to the full sky view. After my friends watched and then said goodbye, I went to sleep but set my alarm to get up at 12.45am. And as one would predict the object moved higher up in the sky.

I am almost certain it was a satellite but I am at a loss as to how I can see the colours of the satellite so clearly flickering red, blue, green and white.

Thank you SmokeyDawan and Chadwickus for your help and providing me with information to read up on. I really appreciate your assistance and I can say for sure you have help me to learn more about the night sky and odd objects.

I hope I haven't wasted your time, you have both taught me something new this week, thank you.

Kindest regards,

posted on Nov, 11 2009 @ 03:04 AM
Glad to be of help!

I wish you could get pics tho cuz I too have seen flickering lights on seemingly stationary "stars"!!

posted on Nov, 11 2009 @ 06:28 AM

Originally posted by SmokeyDawn
I too have seen flickering lights on seemingly stationary "stars"!!

Those flickering lights you guys are seeing are perfectly normal for "stars", especially stars near the horizon.

The reason you're seeing them change colors is the same reason you see stars twinkle - the light gets bounced around and refracted as it passes through our atmosphere.

Near the horizon this is particularly noticeable because the light you're seeing is passing through a lot more atmosphere - just like during a sunset. Atmospheric particles can act like tiny turbulent prisms, which is why you see starlight flicker and quickly changes colors from red to green to yellow, blue, etc as it passes through them.

The reason planets don't do this is because the amount of light they're reflecting back at you is much larger than the tiny pinhole source of a far away star.

Anyway, sorry to poop on the parade with a boring sceincey answer but eclectic.thoughts I'm 99.99% sure you're just looking at a star.

posted on Nov, 11 2009 @ 12:43 PM
You're probably looking at Sirius.

Bright stars (Sirius is the brightest star we can see) are more likely to look like they are changing colors (known as scintillation).

Stellarium is a great way to find your way around the sky, and it's free!

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