Can anyone help me figure this out?

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I've seen aircraft lights stay "motionless" and grow for as much as seven minutes. If it weren't for the angle of view (only 20° to 30° from overhead) the OP reports, I would suspect it was an aircraft. My view was only about 15° above the horizon.

-Wolf sends
In that case, now that I'm thinking about it, would be motionless. So, that depend on the angle!
 

IG2007

"Don't criticize what you can't understand..."
Apr 5, 2020
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I've seen aircraft lights stay "motionless" and grow for as much as seven minutes. If it weren't for the angle of view (only 20° to 30° from overhead) the OP reports, I would suspect it was an aircraft. My view was only about 15° above the horizon.

-Wolf sends
I really doubt if that's what actually happened with notme, at least, the description doesn't match my imagination of an airplane standing motionless for 5 minutes, does it?
 
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May 25, 2021
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Yeah, I tend not to worry about pro bono proctologists from other star systems showing up unannounced in my bedroom, although I did see something a bit more "alien" flying around once. That one's a bit harder to explain and I didn't think this was the best place to bring that particular sighting up, haha

Thanks for the help though, I'm glad I finally have an answer
UFO paranoia.
 
May 25, 2021
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Maybe it was a guiding light for those Sailors. The sea has always had strange things and stories like this happen.
Luminescent fog, which is nothing but low laying clouds that could have been at a differant altitude. Just a guess.
The Scottish Moors have a fog that is only about two or three feet deep on the ground. Made for some classic horror movies lol.
Perhaps that light was the moon, or Jupiter that seemed to get bigger as the fog thickened, a magnifying effect.
I still think it's atmospherics.
 
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Wolfshadw

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Apr 1, 2020
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I really doubt if that's what actually happened with notme, at least, the description doesn't match my imagination of an airplane standing motionless for 5 minutes, does it?
Coming from the angular height the OP mentions, no. Almost certainly not an aircraft. Just a quick an dirty depiction of my experience. Remember my POV is from about 15° above the horizon (image not to scale).



-Wolf sends
 
May 14, 2021
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Sailors out on the open ocean have seen the very same thing. Out where there was no light pollution. They had a lot of differant names for it. An omen, guiding light, witches moon, things like that.
Dubbed St. Elmo’s fire, many times precedes a lightning strike.
 
Jun 14, 2021
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Thank You for the post. It was really an interesting incidents !! What you saw on that night was a meteor. When any meteor enters into the Earth's atmosphere, it get a speeds up to 72 kilometers per second.

It is the tremendous friction with the atmosphere, that causes the meteor glow, and to ultimately disintegrate before reaching the Earth's surface.
 

Catastrophe

"There never was a good war, or a bad peace."
I would agree with the meteor suggestion. If there is a meteor shower, and you are in line with their approach, one can see streaks of light appearing to originate from a centre. Now, rarely, instead of seeing meteors spreading out from this centre, you happen to be in the absolutely direct line of one, you would see the following:
At first, from nothing, you would see a faint light appearing stationary. This is as the meteor begins to get hot enough from friction to appear to brighten. As the frictional heating increases, it appears to get brighter and brighter. Because of the way our eyes work, this means that it also appears to get bigger. This may be also partly due to the fact that the meteor is approaching. After appearing brighter/bigger, the meteor burnt out, and so appeared to disappear. In fact, your eye would retain an image of the brightness for a short while.
According to this suggestion, had the meteorite been larger, it might have become a meteorite, which means that it would have landed, quite close to you. Had it been much, much larger ( :) and this is most unlikely :) ), you might have become as famous as the dinosaurs.

Cat :) :) :) :) :)

Maybe something like this?




Also, do you have the date of the occurrence? Year not essential. There are meteor showers at fixed times throughout the year as we pass through the broken up remains of asteroids.


View: https://imgur.com/a/u4qfo1Q
 
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Sep 28, 2020
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What this grow and vane light recalls me is a temporary atmospheric event, density change, windshear,...acting as lens to the light from an ordinary star or planet.
 
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Dec 2, 2019
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Hello everyone, I was hoping someone might be able to help me figure out something odd I saw one night a few years ago?

There are a couple of explanations that came to mind, but they don't really seem to fit what I saw, so maybe someone who knows more about this kind of stuff than me could help...

I was out walking my sisters dog around 10 or 11pm on a clear night, and there's a tree that she likes to stop and sniff around for a while (the dog, not my sister), and I'll usually stare up at the stars when they're out. So there I was, looking up at what I thought was Venus since it was quite a bit brighter and bigger than all the other stars, when I noticed it was getting bigger. I probably thought it was my eyes focusing on it or something, but it got even bigger... and bigger... until it was (my memory's slightly hazy on exactly how big it got) between half to the full size of the moon. It then proceeded to shrink down to its former size before shrinking even further into nothingness. It all lasted about 30-60 seconds, was very smooth in it's transition, and was kind of like a long pulse. It didn't change shape at all, it was a perfect circle. I can't recall whether the brightness changed as it grew in size or whether it stayed uniform, but it was certainly as bright as a full moon whilst it was at that size. There wasn't any noise either.

I've been perplexed ever since, and often thought about asking people in some kind of forum what they think it could have been, so here I am asking if any of you know what the hell I saw! My first thought was supernova, but I'm pretty sure that's wrong for various reasons. Then I thought maybe a meteorite, but I've seen plenty of those in videos and they're nothing at all like that was, so I'm at a loss. I live in rural England, if that helps?

Thanks to anyone who might be able to shed any light on this damn thing.
It might help if we knew your location and the date this occurred.
 
Apr 30, 2021
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Hello everyone, I was hoping someone might be able to help me figure out something odd I saw one night a few years ago?

There are a couple of explanations that came to mind, but they don't really seem to fit what I saw, so maybe someone who knows more about this kind of stuff than me could help...

I was out walking my sisters dog around 10 or 11pm on a clear night, and there's a tree that she likes to stop and sniff around for a while (the dog, not my sister), and I'll usually stare up at the stars when they're out. So there I was, looking up at what I thought was Venus since it was quite a bit brighter and bigger than all the other stars, when I noticed it was getting bigger. I probably thought it was my eyes focusing on it or something, but it got even bigger... and bigger... until it was (my memory's slightly hazy on exactly how big it got) between half to the full size of the moon. It then proceeded to shrink down to its former size before shrinking even further into nothingness. It all lasted about 30-60 seconds, was very smooth in it's transition, and was kind of like a long pulse. It didn't change shape at all, it was a perfect circle. I can't recall whether the brightness changed as it grew in size or whether it stayed uniform, but it was certainly as bright as a full moon whilst it was at that size. There wasn't any noise either.

I've been perplexed ever since, and often thought about asking people in some kind of forum what they think it could have been, so here I am asking if any of you know what the hell I saw! My first thought was supernova, but I'm pretty sure that's wrong for various reasons. Then I thought maybe a meteorite, but I've seen plenty of those in videos and they're nothing at all like that was, so I'm at a loss. I live in rural England, if that helps?

Thanks to anyone who might be able to shed any light on this damn thing.
It was a fuel dump. An upper stage of a rocket had to dump fuel.
 
Dec 2, 2019
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While everyone is looking at astronomical events to explain phenomenon that definitely appear to be unusual when first observed, there could also be medical explanations. Some abnormalities occurring in the brain or within the eyes could possibly account for your observances. Blood vessels extend through the spinal channel. Looking up could restrict that flow if those blood vessels are possibly occluded and exacerbate a condition you may not be aware of.
Get checked out just to be safe.
 

Jzz

May 10, 2021
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In my opinion what you saw was ball lightning. Ball lightning is really wierd , almost eerie. It can hang around for a long time ( comparatively) and has tremendous energy. My own experience is the ball lightning exploded with a bang. You were lucky that your manifestation just quietly disappeared.
 
Sep 28, 2020
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Could this bizarre sight be explained by a transient refraction phenomenon, something changing atmospheric conditions for a while, producing same that makes Moon look bigger when close to horizon? I always was in doubt about how optics, different refraction power in different areas of Universes, lead to missed changes in our image of the stars out?
 
This reminds me of an incident I experienced while walking home from school one afternoon many decades ago in warm, clear weather. I saw what most would describe as a "UFO". It seemed to be only a few hundred feet in the air, elliptical in shape, silvery with no surface details apparent, silently appearing from behind a forest of trees and crossing the long-straight road in front of me. It persisted as such for at least 10 seconds. Then, as I gaped at it, it seemed to rapidly shrink in size. And, then, in its exact line of sight appeared a commercial airliner, banking towards me, at an altitude of maybe 15,000-20,000 feet (very rough estimate). It was too far away to hear. Sunlight was glinting off some of its surfaces.

My conclusion was that I had seen sunlight reflecting off some part of that airplane, with some sort of atmospheric effect that made the light appear to be much larger than the glinting surface, with a distinct edge all around it.

So, I am wondering if what you saw was a similar effect, potentially from a satellite in a high orbit. That late at night, it seems to be unlikely to be an airplane high enough to still be outside the earth's shadow.

Without some sort of atmospheric lens effect, it is difficult to imagine something that appears to be half the diameter of the moon, unless it was rather close to you.

Did what you saw seem to have a defined edge, like the moon, or was it glary without any apparent edge, like a very large star?

I am assuming it had no apparent surface detail, was a color consistent with sunlight reflected off a surface like Venus or the moon, and seemed to stay in a fixed position. If those assumptions are not all correct, please provide corrections.
 
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So, in summation of the ideas in this thread, it should be one of these:

1) Atmospheric lightning
2) Venus - It won't change in brightness much on a clear night.
3) Drone - Usually not all that bright, though perhaps police units are.
4) Earthquake lightning -- An earthquake should be expected, I presume.
5) Iridium flare -- these orbiting satellites move briskly.
6) Supernova -- but how about a nova, instead. Supernova are long-lasting.
7) Flare
8) Meteor traveling almost directly toward the observer. [I'm guessing some hint of color should be seen, but I could be wrong.]
9) Aircraft landing lights on approach before turning in-line with the runway.
10) ISS reflection into a peculiar atmospheric condition.
11) Eye problem.
12) Helicopter. Police helicopters have bright lights. [They won't be that high in the sky if you can't hear them, or are they super quiet these days?]
13) Ball lightning.
14) St. Elmo's fire.
15) Fuel dump of a rocket.
16) Aircraft fuselage reflection with some atmospheric effects.
17) UFO
18) My old neighbor doing his in-the-sky light fun, which I've witnessed.

An impressive array of answers, IMO.

Did I miss any? :)

The 60 deg. altitude will knockout some of these. [At 60 deg., a "quiet" helicopter would be about 4,500 ft. high at only 1/2 mile away, and too high for a search light.] The, apparent, lack of sound culs the list a little more, perhaps.

The more details one can take note of immediately, and write them down, then the far greater chance one of these, or more is the answer.

I added #18 because some folks just have fun spoofing others, including my old neighbor back in the early 60s when the radio DJs would report any UFO sightings. [My neighbor quit doing these things after he burnt-down 1/2 of his other neighbor's large ash tree. :)]
 
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Dec 2, 2019
37
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1,535
Hello everyone, I was hoping someone might be able to help me figure out something odd I saw one night a few years ago?

There are a couple of explanations that came to mind, but they don't really seem to fit what I saw, so maybe someone who knows more about this kind of stuff than me could help...

I was out walking my sisters dog around 10 or 11pm on a clear night, and there's a tree that she likes to stop and sniff around for a while (the dog, not my sister), and I'll usually stare up at the stars when they're out. So there I was, looking up at what I thought was Venus since it was quite a bit brighter and bigger than all the other stars, when I noticed it was getting bigger. I probably thought it was my eyes focusing on it or something, but it got even bigger... and bigger... until it was (my memory's slightly hazy on exactly how big it got) between half to the full size of the moon. It then proceeded to shrink down to its former size before shrinking even further into nothingness. It all lasted about 30-60 seconds, was very smooth in it's transition, and was kind of like a long pulse. It didn't change shape at all, it was a perfect circle. I can't recall whether the brightness changed as it grew in size or whether it stayed uniform, but it was certainly as bright as a full moon whilst it was at that size. There wasn't any noise either.

I've been perplexed ever since, and often thought about asking people in some kind of forum what they think it could have been, so here I am asking if any of you know what the hell I saw! My first thought was supernova, but I'm pretty sure that's wrong for various reasons. Then I thought maybe a meteorite, but I've seen plenty of those in videos and they're nothing at all like that was, so I'm at a loss. I live in rural England, if that helps?

Thanks to anyone who might be able to shed any light on this damn thing.
I've had a similar experience.
My wife can't go to sleep at night until I've finished my pole routine. She likes to video them each night, and when I have to work overnight, she will pull them out which helps her reach a state of contentment where she is able to relax and drift off.
A few years ago the routine changed for one night, or at least I thought so. I woke up the following day, and thanked her for letting me have the night off. I then proceeded to express my gratitude for how much I enjoyed watching the stars with her the previous evening, but I found that aliens landing in our backyard was somewhat unsettling.
She informed me that there was no such occurrence, but she thought she understood how I might have come to that conclusion. She then proceeded to show me the video from the previous evening.
Apparently, while performing my upside down flag stand on the pole, followed by my ever daring death slide of doom towards the floor, I apparently misjudged the distance to the floor and bashed my head off the hardwood where I laid calmly with a bewildered smile on my face commenting about how pretty the stars were tonight. She then expressed her gratitude for helping her to fall asleep through the sheer exhaustion of laughing hysterically for the following hour.
Now I do stand-up routines every night.
It's an improvement.
I think you bumped your head on the tree and just don't remember it.
You should get your sister to follow you around with a video camera and record everything you do when you walk her dog at night just to make sure you weren't mugged...in case I'm wrong.
However, that's highly unlikely.
 
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