Bright, Spazzing Object in the Sky

Supernova or not?

  • Definitely supernova

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • No way, probably Venus

    Votes: 1 100.0%
  • I can see it! What the heck?!

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    1
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K

kikory

Guest
Hey, for the last week-ish or so, I've seen this extremely bright star in the sky. At first, I thought, oh, it must be Sirius or Venus. Of course, I watched it, and after a minute, it was spazzing out so badly, I wanted to call an ambulance on a star having an epileptic seizure. Then I remembered, it was just a star and an ambulance wouldn't be able to help it.

I live in Southern California and the object is northwest from this spot. It's extremely bright and white and has been spazzing for about a week or so. At some times, I watch it and it nearly disappears and I expect it to be gone for good, and then it just seems to explode into brightness and go back to the brightness of Sirius or something. And then it goes super bright gradually, and dim again.

It's currently Sunday, May 2, 2010 9:30 p.m. and the spazzing star is currently extremely visible by the naked eye low in the northwest.

I think it may be a supernova, considering its characteristics.

What do you think?

--Dess--
 
3

3488

Guest
Hi Dess,

Welcome to SDC.

It is Venus, incredibly bright & is visible in full daylight if you know where to look in the afternoons particularly.

Though of course DO NOT LOOK AT THE SUN!!!!

Have the Sun blocked out by a wall or building so there is no danger of accidently looking at the Sun, look to the east (left) you may catch Venus in the blue sky.

Andrew Brown.
 
M

MeteorWayne

Guest
It could actually be Venus or Sirius, or even Procyon, Capella or Betelgeuse, depending on the exact direction and elevation. At 9:30 from LA both Venus and Sirius are just above the horizon. Venus (the brightest, mag -3.9), 4 degrees above at azimuth 295 (WNW), Sirius (Mag -1.5, the brightest star in the sky) at 6 degrees above at azimuth 245 (WSW). Capella (Mag 0) is 25 degrees above the horizon a bit more north than Venus, and Procyon (Mag +0.4) is 30 degrees above just south of due west, as well as the reddish Betelgeuse (Mag +0.5) 20 degrees above, exactly due west. Capella is the 4th brightest star in the northern hemisphere, Procyon the 6th, Betelgeuse the 8th.

There's quite a collection of bright stars in that part of the sky!

The "spazzing" is caused by the roiling atmosphere refracting the light like hundreds of lenses. This happens a lot with stars close to the horizon, particularly just after sunset as the heat of the day causes unstable air. Planets like Venus generally don't twinkle, but that close to the horizon, it can happen.
 
K

kikory

Guest
Oh. I can only see it behind a tree when it's close to the horizon. But I've been seeing it do that non-stop for about a week - usually when I'm looking at it, it's quite high in the sky. For the last week, no matter what position in the sky, it's been doing that same thing.

I feel kind of stupid for asking, now, though. Or giving additional details on something that has already been answered. But it's very entertaining to watch and I like to be certain.

I haven't seen any news on it or anything, which I assume there would be if it was anything special. But it looks pretty special to me.
 
M

MeteorWayne

Guest
Well everything is setting in the west, so they are all higher earlier right after sunset then they set during the evening. It would help if could identify some constellations :)

MW
 
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