Shooting stars changing direction at sharp angles?!?

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mrtuft

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Hi I was out in my garden tonight I was looking up at the stars Ive seen shooting stars before. Tonight I saw what I thought was a shooting star it moved very very fast then came to a total stop within a few seconds it took of on about a 45degree angle, then it stopped again and took of basically back in the direction it originally came from. Im freaking out a wee bit as the sharp changes in direction and the speed was so fast and so quick to stop. Im wondering if anybody else has seen anything like this ive read through and see that people have seen a change in direction before but this happened several times plus the angles, speed of travel and stopping distance??????
 
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MeteorWayne

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Well, it is physically impossible for a shooting star to do what you described, so it must be something else. True meteors are moving at least 6 miles per second, so can't stop and change directions.<br />How bright was it? <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080"><em><font color="#000000">But the Krell forgot one thing John. Monsters. Monsters from the Id.</font></em> </font></p><p><font color="#000080">I really, really, really, really miss the "first unread post" function</font><font color="#000080"> </font></p> </div>
 
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mrtuft

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Not overly bright it didnt stand out more than the average star.
 
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a_lost_packet_

Guest
Given the right angle of view, what you may have seen was a meteor glancing through the atmosphere. It heated due to friction from the relatively light concentration in the extreme upper portion of the atmosphere, reached a more dense area and then was deflected. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font size="1">I put on my robe and wizard hat...</font> </div>
 
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MeteorWayne

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Again, for a meteor of that brightness, it is in the sand grain size. Such an object burns up within seconds at the most, before it could be deflected. Meteors are visible from 40 to 60 miles above the surface..A larger object can last long enough to be deflected if it just skims the top of the atmosphere (as the Grand Teton fireball did back in the 70's) but only if it skips gently against the top of the atmosphere. In no case could something moving 6 to 40 miles per second stop and turn around.<br />Since that is what was observed, some other explanation must be found, much lower in the atmosphere at a slower speed.<br /><br />It is an interesting question though.<br /><br />How high up in the sky was it?<br /><br />Overhead, or down near the horizon? <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080"><em><font color="#000000">But the Krell forgot one thing John. Monsters. Monsters from the Id.</font></em> </font></p><p><font color="#000080">I really, really, really, really miss the "first unread post" function</font><font color="#000080"> </font></p> </div>
 
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disownedsky

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<p>Agreed, meteors can't do that. <p>More particulars please: where (ideally lat, lon) , when, what direction, lighting conditions, weather, etc. Also important is the color you saw. What could do what you describe is a laser, but it needs something in the atmosphere to reflect it.</p></p>
 
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lost_shaman

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I agree too. <br /><br />The description given does not fit with a "shooting star" or larger Meteor. "Fire balls" (bolides) can break apart and can deviate from the original trajectory but only slightly and are not "seen" or perceived by observers to stop and then change directions.<br /><br />The description sounds more like a UFO sighting. That's not to say there isn't an 'Earthly' explanation for the sighting, just that from the description given the sighting conforms to a UFO sighting and not an observation of "shooting stars" or "Fire balls" ( bolides ).<br /><br />
 
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yevaud

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There are three Satellites that were predicted to decay on that day: One Indian (PSLV DEB), one from the CIS (COSMOS 2423 DEB), and one Japanese (H-2A DEB). It may well have been one of those you saw, or debris from same.<br /><br />Just a thought. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><em>Differential Diagnosis:  </em>"<strong><em>I am both amused and annoyed that you think I should be less stubborn than you are</em></strong>."<br /> </p> </div>
 
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lost_shaman

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<font color="yellow">It may well have been one of those you saw, or debris from same.</font><br /><br />Even if the observer agrees with your suggestion , the description given does not conform with a "Satellite" , "obital debris" ,"shooting stars" or "Fire Balls" (Bolides).<br /><br />
 
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yevaud

Guest
Completely incorrect.<br /><br />Any analysis of a reentry in an uncontrolled fashion such as the above platforms has to take into account an uncertaintly analysis involving time, reentry profile, velocity, winds aloft, dynamic spin, structural failure, material characteristics, mass, and dynamic heating. In many cases, the impact foorprint is simply huge, due to those uncertainties.<br /><br />If he was standing largely in the impact zone, he wouldn't see any lateral motion. However - and this has been seen many times - small lateral motions, if they occur (due to the above criteria) without reference points for comparison can and have led to some wildly inaccurate observations, including the appearance of an object reversing direction. It didn't actually reverse direction, but the ground-based observer thought it did. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><em>Differential Diagnosis:  </em>"<strong><em>I am both amused and annoyed that you think I should be less stubborn than you are</em></strong>."<br /> </p> </div>
 
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lost_shaman

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<font color="yellow">If he was standing largely in the impact zone, he wouldn't see any lateral motion.</font><br /><br />That is a nice rationalization. However, in this instance we've been given a specific description.<br /><br /><br /> mrtuft : <font color="yellow">it moved very very fast then came to a total stop </font><br /><br />
 
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yevaud

Guest
Mine is a potential scientific explanation, based on well-known reentry dynamics. Your's is a guess based on personal opinion based on a topical, one-off, observation.<br /><br />Fact. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><em>Differential Diagnosis:  </em>"<strong><em>I am both amused and annoyed that you think I should be less stubborn than you are</em></strong>."<br /> </p> </div>
 
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kmarinas86

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<font color="yellow">Mine is a potential scientific explanation, based on well-known reentry dynamics. Your's is a guess based on personal opinion based on a topical, one-off, observation.<br /><br />Fact.</font><br /><br />Here are some other potential "scientific" explanations:<br /><br />Hallucination.<br />Drugs.<br />Delusions.<br />A lie.<br />A kid using someone elses screen name.<br />Someone's joke.
 
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yevaud

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Well, yeah, but I am not claiming those. This person saw something, and he'd like a plausible explanation as to what it was.<br /><br />E.g., not an immediate leap to "UFOs" and a denial of known science. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><em>Differential Diagnosis:  </em>"<strong><em>I am both amused and annoyed that you think I should be less stubborn than you are</em></strong>."<br /> </p> </div>
 
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kmarinas86

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mr. tuft: <font color="yellow">Im freaking out a wee bit as the sharp changes in direction and the speed was so fast</font><br /><br />Yevaud: <font color="yellow">However - and this has been seen many times - small lateral motions, if they occur (due to the above criteria) without reference points for comparison can and have led to some wildly inaccurate observations</font><br /><br />Such as moving very fast???????
 
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yevaud

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Nah. Apparent retrograde motion due to a change in parallax, calving of the object, hitting a dense pocket of atmosphere, a wide range of possibilities.<br /><br />It doesn't have to be a true retrograde motion, just an apparent one. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><em>Differential Diagnosis:  </em>"<strong><em>I am both amused and annoyed that you think I should be less stubborn than you are</em></strong>."<br /> </p> </div>
 
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lost_shaman

Guest
<font color="yellow">Mine is a potential scientific explanation</font><br /><br />Anything moving with a velocity through a medium like the Atmosphere will have a mathematical uncertainty in its trajectory.<br /><br />If simply stating that obvious fact potentially explains the description given ( It does not ) , you might as well just go with the posters original suggestion that it was a "Shooting Star".
 
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yevaud

Guest
Every post until yours were discussing that very possibility as well as others. Your's went immediately to "I think it's a UFO."<br /><br />That's not even speculation, it's fantasy, and you do a disservice to new users asking simple questions of astronomy by providing the kind of answer you did.<br /><br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><em>Differential Diagnosis:  </em>"<strong><em>I am both amused and annoyed that you think I should be less stubborn than you are</em></strong>."<br /> </p> </div>
 
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yevaud

Guest
Here's what I mean:<br /><br /><i>The description given does not fit with a "shooting star" or larger Meteor. "Fire balls" (bolides) can break apart and can deviate from the original trajectory but only slightly and are not "seen" or perceived by observers to stop and then change directions.</i><br /><br />These can devitate greatly from their trajectory, and have been seen to produce apparent retrograde motion, depending on the circumstance. This is known.<br /><br /><i>The description sounds more like a UFO sighting. That's not to say there isn't an 'Earthly' explanation for the sighting, just that from the description given the sighting conforms to a UFO sighting and not an observation of "shooting stars" or "Fire balls" ( bolides ). </i><br /><br />Here you appear to say one thing, then discount it, then discount all other possibilities - leaving "It's a UFO" as your response. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><em>Differential Diagnosis:  </em>"<strong><em>I am both amused and annoyed that you think I should be less stubborn than you are</em></strong>."<br /> </p> </div>
 
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lost_shaman

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<font color="yellow">That's not even speculation, it's fantasy, and you do a disservice to new users asking simple questions of astronomy by providing the kind of answer you did.</font><br /><br />No. Its a fact that people report "sightings" and this description DOES IN FACT FIT with other "sightings" and by pointing that out I've done no dis-service to "Science" or anyone else.<br /><br /> <br />
 
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yevaud

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It really saddens me that you don't even comprehend what I'm saying.<br /><br />You guys have just spent thousands of words of debating and bickering about terminology about "UFOs," and what they mean. Well, that's fine, you are more than welcome to it.<br /><br />In this case, however, here's someone who appears newly here, and asks a legitimate question about something he witnessed. And your answer is "UFO." Now you know as well as I do that the average person won't think "Unidentified" and only that if they hear the term. They'll think "Little green men from Mars." And I think you darned well know it too.<br /><br />And that's the disservice you just did. You already have thousands of words in about UFO's with people here who are willing to debate you about it; but you even have to try to answer a newby's completely legitimate question in those terms.<br /><br />That's a real disservice indeed. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><em>Differential Diagnosis:  </em>"<strong><em>I am both amused and annoyed that you think I should be less stubborn than you are</em></strong>."<br /> </p> </div>
 
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lost_shaman

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<font color="yellow">Here you appear to say one thing, then discount it, then discount all other possibilities - leaving "It's a UFO" as your response. </font><br /><br />Here (below) this was the main point I simply intended to make. <br /><br />I don't know how to say it any more clearly in English than to say this...<br /><br /><br /><font color="yellow"><b>from the description given the sighting conforms...(to a UFO sighting)</b></font>/safety_wrapper>
 
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yevaud

Guest
By not using misleading terminology to a newby. Such as "UFO," which has connotations that are inappropriate.<br /><br />That's all. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><em>Differential Diagnosis:  </em>"<strong><em>I am both amused and annoyed that you think I should be less stubborn than you are</em></strong>."<br /> </p> </div>
 
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MeteorWayne

Guest
I would suggest that at this moment, it is an US<br />Unidentified Sighting.<br /><br />It clearly cannot be a single meteor.<br /><br />It could be two meteors travelling across the sky in opposite directions ( rare, but not unprecedented, I've seen three instances in my 10 years of meteor observing) from two different sources, with a trick of the eye/mind creating the 45 degree portion in between. If we could get some kind of description of where in the star field of the sky the "meteors" occurred, we can see if it fits any of the active showers on that night (there were several) or any of the common "sporadic" meteor concentrations. This <font color="black"> could </font>give us a clue.<br /><br />At this point we just don't know.<br /><br />There is NO irrefutable evidence yet that it was an "object" other than there was likely at least one meteoroid involved, and possibly 2. While technically an object, I would submit that a meteoroid does not fit the "O" in UFO.<br /><br />I'm trying to help the guy to see if we can come up with a rational explanation of what he saw, to answer his curiousity. I'd suggest we focus on that when we get some more feedback about his observation.<br /><br />Meteor Wayne <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080"><em><font color="#000000">But the Krell forgot one thing John. Monsters. Monsters from the Id.</font></em> </font></p><p><font color="#000080">I really, really, really, really miss the "first unread post" function</font><font color="#000080"> </font></p> </div>
 
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lost_shaman

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<font color="yellow">They'll think "Little green men from Mars." And I think you darned well know it too.</font><br /><br />What a strange and irrational fear that is. <br /><br />Look saying "<font color="yellow"> you darned well know it too</font> implies that I use the term UFO as some type of "trick" to imply "Aliens". <br /><br />I do NOT have dishonest intentions , I do NOT even think UFOs are "Aliens" only that we don't know what they are. So don't put your fear of someones "dishonest" intentions on my shoulders.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
 
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