Mysterious flashing "Star" like object in the sky.... *DELETED*

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kelle

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Perhaps what you see is a superior mirage. There is a boat with a flashing light out at sea, but due to a layer of cold air over the sea, and hotter air farther up, light is refracted, so you see the light from the boat, which is really beneath your horizon, as a flashing point of light in the sky.<br /><br />I even made this to explain: http://dille.yagr.com/mirage.jpg<br /><br />Does that sound probable?
 
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huey_pilot

Guest
no it is not that. I live out in the country, away from lights. I see many stars, but this one is very distinctive.
 
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kmarinas86

Guest
does this star blink at a regular interval? 1 point if so. (then it cannot be a star)<br />does this light appear all by itself and not with other lights? 2 points if so. (then it is not a jet plane with lights on each wing)<br />has the object appeared above and below the clouds? 1 point if so. (then it cannot be a star)<br />are you able to make a good judgement as to how near and how far the object can show up? 1 point if so.<br />does it move in the sky with the stars, or does it move in a different direction or speed? 4 points if this object does not follow the stars.<br />Where do you live latitude-wise? 1 point if closer to Florida than New York. (then you would be less likely to find the same satellite for more than a few consecutive days)<br />Have noticed that the satellites you have seen, if any, do not blink? 3 points if so. (then what you keep on seeing is unlikely to be a satellite)<br />Do you see this "Glistening Diamond" before early dawn or after late evening? 3 points if so. (then it cannot be Venus or Mercury).<br />Does this light stay up in the same particular place, longer than any helicopter could be capabable of? 6 points if so.<br />Does this light stay in the northeastern part of the sky nearly all night? 10 points if so.<br /><br />What ideas do your neighbors have about the object?
 
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mirak

Guest
Venus is up in the eastern sky before sunrise, if early dawn is the time of day or night you are seeing the bright blinking light in the sky it is probably Venus. If you have a telescope look above Venus and slightly to the right and you'll be treated with the spectacular sight of Saturn.
 
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a_lost_packet_

Guest
huey_pilot - Here are some steps that may help others with your question:<br /><br />1) Look up your latitude and longitude. Here's an easy way: Zip info Put in your zip code and check "latitude and longitude."<br /><br />2) Put a pencil, paper, compass (if available) along with a watch with a second hand next to your door. At night, when you see this "blinking object" record the following:<br /><br />a) Time, date<br />b) Compass heading.<br />c) Approximate location in the sky in degrees from your position. ie: 45deg would be midway between the horizon and straigh up (90 deg).<br />d) Interval - ie: how many seconds between blinking? Is it steady or variable?<br />e) Color - ie: does it appear to have any particular color?<br />f) Length of time visible - ie: from 9pm on or only for a few minutes? etc.<br /><br />If you wish, you can stick your pencil in the ground oriented towards where you saw the object from the position you stood during the time you made your records of it. The next day, orient yourself facing the pencil and search the skyline for possible structures that would have beacons on them. Then, repeat this the next night for two nights (if it is a nightly event).<br /><br />g) On the next night when this is visible, did any of a) through f) change?<br /><br />3) Come back and report your data and I'm sure, if it is a star or satellite, someone will link some info on it for you. Keep in mind, none of the above data would be conclusive in helping to solve the riddle. However, it would be helpful.<br /><br />There are a few earthly possibilities. It may be a radio tower with a beacon on it. The tower could be a sufficient distance away that you can't see it at night or very clearly during the day. It could also be a searchlight for a small airfield which is being distorted. This happens alot btw. It could even be a bug-zapper in a distant neighbor's back yard. Don't laugh, I got lost i <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font size="1">I put on my robe and wizard hat...</font> </div>
 
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a_lost_packet_

Guest
Ok. I'll take a stab at it. Keep in mind, I'm not much of an astronomer. I just like looking a little bit. <img src="/images/icons/smile.gif" /><br /><br />I didn't find any satellites in that region. Then again, I'm using "Starry Night - Enthusiast." It may not have 'em all in there.<br /><br />There are several interesting features in that region. However, I found a few candidates but I'm not sure if they are all easily visible to the naked eye there. <br /><br />This would be located more North of you than Northeast though. and slightly higher at around 70 deg:NGC 6826 also known as the "Blinking Planetary"<br /><br />Here is the description from "Starry Night - Enthusiast"<br /><br /><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>NGC 6826 is known as the "Blinking Planetary", although many planetary nebulae produce the 'blinking' phenomenon. The brightness of the 10th magnitude central star can overwhelm the eye and cause the surrounding nebula to disappear. When you glance away and observe the nebula with peripheral vision only, it reappears, causing the blinking effect. A larger telescope reveals the bluish-green colour of the Blinking Planetary's elongated disc. Photographs reveal striking "fliers" on both sides of the nebula.<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br /><br />Another candidate might be the Perseus Double Cluster. This would be in the region (NE) at 40 to 50deg above the horizon. This should be visible to the naked eye.<br /><br />Again, Starry Night - Enthusiast description:<br /><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>The famous double cluster in Perseus is one the night sky's finest jewels. NGC 869 and 884 are a pair of bright and large open clusters embedded in the faint glow of the Milky Way. The double cluster is visible without optical aid but binoculars are required to separate the two clusters, which are half a degree apart. A richfield telescope gives the best view of the Double Cluster, with many stars of differing brightness visib</p></blockquote> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font size="1">I put on my robe and wizard hat...</font> </div>
 
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tfwthom

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North east about 10pm......I'm thinking it's Capella. That low it would be cutting through enough atmosphere to put on a nice light show. It's a spectroscopic binary, consisting of a G6 and a G2 giant orbiting each other. It flashes white, red, blue, and is the 6th brightest star in the sky. <br /><br />The south to north part....you sure that that's the same object? <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font size="1" color="#3366ff">www.siriuslookers.org</font> </div>
 
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kmarinas86

Guest
can you find another star just like it? elaborate. why does it stand out? is it larger? does its brightness change? is it brighter than sirius? venus? or is dimmer?<br /><br />please answer to these specifics:<br /><i>does this object set on the western sky?</i><br /><br />hoping that you'll answer these questions.... because we need to know more if we want to know what it is.<br /><br />If you really think it is something else, you have to elaborate.<br /><br /><font color="yellow">Mysterious flashing "Star" like object in the sky....</font>/safety_wrapper>
 
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kmarinas86

Guest
Your Sky 10:18 PM Eastern (0318 GMT)<br />Your Sky 9:30 PM Eastern (0230 GMT)<br /><br /><font color="yellow">My latitude is north 39.2102 and my longitude is west 81.6642. <br /><br />a)Time: 10:18pm Eastern Time, Date: September 19, 2004 <br />b)North-Eastern <br />c)Roughly 40-50 Degrees <br />d)Blinks fast, steady rate, never stops. <br />e)Usually blinks between a "Star" white to red, happens very quickly, it might even flash a light blue also. <br />f)Not Sure, appears about 9:30pm eastern time, or whenever dark enough to see the stars <br />g)Over the months that I have observed it, it has moved from the southern part of the sky to the North-Eastern.</font>/safety_wrapper>
 
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a_lost_packet_

Guest
Capella was, I believe, a candidate that I considered. However, there's alot of stars in the sky. I couldn't list 'em all. <img src="/images/icons/smile.gif" /><br /><br />kmarinas hit on a pertinent point:<br /><br />We need to know the relative "brightness" of the object in question in relationship to an known variable in order to make further guesses. If huey_pilot can rate it from 1 to 6 (1 being the brightest object like Polaris and being the dimmest viewable with the naked eye during a clear sky.) maybe we can narrow it down.<br /><br />However, regardless, at 40-50 deg in the night sky, it certainly isn't a hazard light or a bug zapper. <img src="/images/icons/smile.gif" /><br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font size="1">I put on my robe and wizard hat...</font> </div>
 
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kmarinas86

Guest
<font color="yellow">The south to north part....you sure that that's the same object?</font><br /><br />Yes he is sure.<br /><br />Just before Winter ends, Canis Minor is just South of the Zenith (90 degrees). On May 20 Canis Minor approaches the West Horizon. After summer of 2004 passes by, Canis Minor will be seen again at the eastern horizon (just bar
 
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a_lost_packet_

Guest
Algol is an eclipsing binary who's changes in brightness are apparent when viewed with the unaided eye. It's why it is called the "Demon Star." However, I don't know what it's variable is offhand. You wouldn't be able to distinguish the stars in the binary, however, you would be able to note the changes. <br /><br />(According to what I have read on the subject. Someone familiar with "Algol" and other variable intensity stars specifically from an observation/Astronomy perspective should pop in with a corrective post if I am mistaken.)<br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font size="1">I put on my robe and wizard hat...</font> </div>
 
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huey_pilot

Guest
Brightness- Roughly maybe a 4.......<br /><br />Correct, I was not using a telescope or other aid. My telescope was damaged in a wind storm (Fell off the Roof)
 
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kmarinas86

Guest
http://csep10.phys.utk.edu/astr162/lect/binaries/algol.html<br /><br /><font color="yellow">In the constellation Perseus there is a moderately bright star called <b><i>Algol</i></b>. It is remarkable in that <i><b>every 68.75 hours its light dims rather suddenly for several hours</b></i> before returning just as quickly to its former brightness. This change in brightness is sufficiently large to be apparent even to the naked eye.</font><br /><br />What huey saw was visibly flashing as if it was camera taking many pictures in series.<br /><br /><b><i>Theres some kind of flashing "star" looking thing in the sky. I have been observing it for about 3/4 of a year. Since then it has moved to a different part of the sky. It looks something like a glistening diamond. It sortof flashes. Its in the north eastern part of the sky. Does anyone have any ideas what it could be? Its not an airplane or anything, I know that for sure. It isn't just an illusion, because my neighbors saw it also. I live on the east coast of the United States. Can someone tell me what this is? <br /><br />Thanks, <br /><br />Huey_Pilot</i></b><br /><br />It is unlikely that what Huey saw was an eclipsing binary, unless there is one that can be seen that "flashes" every few seconds.
 
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huey_pilot

Guest
Since this "Algol" dims every 70 hours or so, I will observe and document its brightness over 70-80 hours.
 
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a_lost_packet_

Guest
Depending on atmospheric conditions, "twinkling" is common place. If "Algol" or another variable is twinkling, it may appear to change color as it shifts to it's next variance.<br /><br />Then again, the information available is sketchy at best. I would say that it is most probable that this is a star which is bright enough to appear to change color with atmopheric changes. However, it would be interesting "for fun" to find out which one he is viewing. It's like a Sherlock Holmes mystery. <img src="/images/icons/smile.gif" /><br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font size="1">I put on my robe and wizard hat...</font> </div>
 
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huey_pilot

Guest
Tonight, it seems a little bit more dim than it was last night, not a lot more, but a bit dimmer.
 
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kmarinas86

Guest
Did you find at both Algol and the flashing diamond last night?
 
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a_lost_packet_

Guest
Good idea Eburacum. Does anyone know if Starry Night Enthusiast does screenshots exports? If not, I guess I'll just have to wing it.<br /><br />Maybe a starmap of that area of sky only, NE 40-50deg from his lat/long would be helpful? Someone could post it then he could mark the position of the object with a paint program and post the pic back to the thread.<br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font size="1">I put on my robe and wizard hat...</font> </div>
 
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huey_pilot

Guest
kmarinas86 are you a paying subscriber for those maps on terraserver.com? <br /><br />If so, can you take a screenshot of that picture of where you said that I lived on a hillside that faces east?<br /><br />Thanks, <br />Huey_Pilot
 
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