Something in the sky

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anne_b1110

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Hello all,

I am new to this sight and am finding so much information. I was looking for a sight that when my 5 almost 6 year old had questions we could go to. He is very interested in stars and space and he is getting his first telescope for his birthday next month.

Well my real question is this. This past Saturday around 11'ish at night I was standing on my front porch and looking up at the stars and I happened to look towards the horizon and saw what I thought at first was a plane actually wasnt. It did not move or seemed not to move like a plane would I stood stairing at it for almost a half hour. It was flashing. I thought I was going crazy so I told my husband to come out and look at it. He at first told me it was a plane but after standing there a minute he realized it was not moving like the actual planes in the sky were. It really looked like it was flashing like turn signals, that is what it reminded me of. We really would like to know what it was. Any ideas???

Thanks
Anne
 
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MeteorWayne

Guest
Hi Anne, welcome to Space.com!

Undoubtedly what you saw was one of the brighter stars near the horizon. When the starlight passes through the hundreds of miles of roiling atmosphere down there, they flash, can even blink off and on, and can change colors as well!

If you can give us a rough idea where you are located, and roughly which direction you were facing, we can probably make a pretty good guess as to which one.

If you don't know which direction offhand, was in the direction that the sun rises (east), sets (west) or where the sun is highest in mid afternoon (south).

Wayne
 
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MeteorWayne

Guest
Another useful piece of data might be where it is in relation to Jupiter. Jupiter is the brightest (by far) object in the sky about 30 degrees above the southern horizon at that hour.
 
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jim48

Guest
Or it could have been a real, genuine, bonafide, honest-to-God UFO!!! Welcome to SDC! ;)
 
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MeteorWayne

Guest
jim, you know sometimes you really piss me off when you make a joke out of someone's serious question. You may think it's funny...I don't.
 
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jim48

Guest
MeteorWayne":1tiskryl said:
jim, you know sometimes you really piss me off when you make a joke out of someone's serious question. You may think it's funny...I don't.
Chill, friend Wayne. Recall that I joined up here to learn more of astronomy. Also, do not be so quick to discount unusual phenomena, which are plentiful, are they not? Keep your eyes open! Stop being angry. Let us reason together. ;)
 
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kg

Guest
anne_b1110":3nsnzzfo said:
Hello all,

....looking up at the stars and I happened to look towards the horizon and saw what I thought at first was a plane actually wasnt. It did not move or seemed not to move like a plane would I stood stairing at it for almost a half hour. It was flashing. It really looked like it was flashing like turn signals, that is what it reminded me of... Anne
If this flashing light is stubbornly persistant it could be a radio antenna or maybe there's a new cell phone tower in your neighborhood (er...I've been fooled before). It's kinda sad that the light bulb has been around for something like 120 years or so but when ever somepeople see one up in the sky they immediately assume it came from another planet.
You have a lucky boy. He should be around to see some very interesting discoveries in the field of astronomy and in science in general in his lifetime!
 
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MeteorWayne

Guest
That's a good idea kg. Then the key way to tell is it there at the same time during the whole night, every night when it is clear enough. Flashing stars would be higher or lower in the sky earlier, and won't be at the same location and time a month from now.
 
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