Exploding star?

Feb 8, 2022
4
3
15
Hi all,
Last night (Sunday February 6th) at almost exactly 8pm Hawaii time, we were watching Orion's Belt and looking at Orion's Nebula. I wasn't looking through the telescope at this moment, but I saw a star seem to expand rapidly, getting brighter, and brighter... Then it just disappeared. It was just below and to the right or the Orion constellation. Just wondering if anyone else witnessed this, or knows what it could have been.

Thank you,
 
Last edited:

Catastrophe

"There never was a good war, or a bad peace."
This was the answer to a similar question in a previous thread:

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 :)
 
Last edited:

Catastrophe

"There never was a good war, or a bad peace."
Hang about a bit!

From: https://phys.org/news/2015-04-quickly-supernova.html

we get:

"Supernova 1987A, named to commemorate the induction of the first woman into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the amazing Aretha Franklin. Well, actually, that's not true, it was the first supernova we saw in 1987. But we should really name supernovae after things like that. Still, 1987A went off relatively nearby, and took 85 days to reach its peak brightness. Slowly declining over the next 2 years. Powerful telescopes like the Hubble Space Telescope can still see the shockwave expanding in space, decades later." My emphasis.

This is not something that lasts 10 seconds. Beware time lapse photography without an indication of the speeding up factor.

I would still favour the explanation in #3.

Cat :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: enkaydee
May 14, 2021
344
217
560
Outside of meteor showers, we still get visible sporadic meteors, one or two per hour at any given location. Could be one of them fitting Cat’s scenario.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Catastrophe

Catastrophe

"There never was a good war, or a bad peace."
Pogo, yes. Of course, there is nothing to prevent a single meteor(ite) coming in along a line of sight, with similar result. In fact, this is exactly what has happened when an animal/object has been struck by a meteorite. The meteorite has survived passage through the atmosphere and resulted in impact.

Cat :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: Pogo
Feb 8, 2022
4
3
15
This was the answer to a similar question in a previous thread:

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 :)

Oh wow, I never thought of that. It does make sense, and seems likely.

Thank you!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Catastrophe
May 14, 2021
344
217
560
I agree. I can see the landing pattern for JFK airport in New York about 90 miles (145 km) to the northeast. That happens commonly, the lights appear when they point toward me, and disappear when they turn away, frequently having little or no transverse motion.
 
  • Like
Reactions: billslugg

Catastrophe

"There never was a good war, or a bad peace."
OP stated:
"Last night (Sunday February 6th) at almost exactly 8pm Hawaii time, we were watching Orion's Belt . . . . . . but I saw a star seem to expand rapidly, getting brighter, and brighter... Then it just disappeared. It was just below and to the right or the Orion constellation."

Can anyone pinpoint the direction? Living in England, I can only guess that it was approximately southerly? It may be obvious why I am asking. Because I don't know. So here is a good opportunity to consult your tables and correct me.

Cat :)
 

Catastrophe

"There never was a good war, or a bad peace."
So would that be a common direction of approach for planes? I don't know. I am in England.

If it were a common direction of approach for planes, would such a phenomenon be quite common - and often mentioned? I don't know. I am just asking. I am in England.

Cat :)
 
May 14, 2021
344
217
560
@enkaydee didn’t say which island or location, but on google maps at the international at Oahu, the two main runways seem to be east/west, which makes sense most traffic comes from east and west, so, with Orion at WSW, and the observation was low and to the right, low to the west fits the description for approaching aircraft entering or leaving the landing pattern.
 
Feb 8, 2022
4
3
15
The planes that come in for landing here are already flying very low (much lower than where we were looking that night), and are flying over the ocean (to the West) from North to South, roughly (So they were flying away from us). Either way, if it was an airplane, that turned its landing lights off, you'd still be able to see the flashing wing and tail lights (which there were none). Also you should be able to hear the planes. Unless it was military, which we do get a lot of. It was a very clear night, and when the light dissipated, there was nothing in the area.

It's the aliens man...
 
  • Like
Reactions: Catastrophe

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS