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A strange star appeared!

  1. Nov 11, 2005 #1
    Tonight when i wander in the street, I looked up to the sky and saw a very bright thing. I thought it was an aeroplane. However, it did not move. I had observed it for about 10 minutes, and it did not change its position. It was still. So i thought it was a strange star. then I chased the star. But the star 'ran away' as I ran to it. It was just like the case when you chased the moon, it ran away from you always when you wanted to chase it. Therefore I further concluded that it could not be an aeroplane because aeroplane was near us, so we could eventually chase up an aeroplane.
    What would be that strange star? Perhaps it was just a satellite or sth ordinary.I don't know. I am just a kid. Please forgive my ignorance and answer me :)
     
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  3. Nov 11, 2005 #2
    If it was a star, then it probably moved a bit in those 10 minutes but its hard to see it move. The next time you see one, don't chase it. Instead, line it up by sight with some stationary object like the roof of a house. After 10 minutes or so, you will see that it doesn't line up anymore. If it is an airplane, you will see it move within a few seconds.
     
  4. Nov 11, 2005 #3

    Integral

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    My guess would be Venus, it is very bright in the SW in the evening.
     
  5. Nov 11, 2005 #4

    Labguy

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    Depends on which direction he was looking. As of last night, Mars was magnitude -2.2 and well above the horizon almost straight east. Venus is mag. -4.2 in the western sky. I suppose it could have been either, but Venus is brighter.
     
  6. Nov 11, 2005 #5

    russ_watters

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    [edit] Mars is rising at sunset and veus is setting - so about an hour after sunset or later, it can only be Mars.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2005
  7. Nov 11, 2005 #6
    No, it is too bright to be Mars or Venus. It is too bright to be a star. That's why I think it is strange.

    Other than air transports, I have never seen such a bright thing.
     
  8. Nov 12, 2005 #7
    Do you think it was a alien?:approve: :bugeye: :surprised
    Do you live by any kind of airport?
     
  9. Nov 12, 2005 #8

    russ_watters

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    Would you know Mars or Venus if you saw them? Mars is more than twice as bright as the brightest star in the sky and Venus about 15x as bright.
     
  10. Nov 12, 2005 #9

    Janus

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    From Hong Kong, Venus doesn't set until about three hours after sunset.
     
  11. Nov 15, 2008 #10
    Los Angeles, Ca – 11:45pm Nov 14 2008 – still going. A very strange, bright star. I thought It was a plane at first, just shining bright, oddly bright. I think I see some blue, flicker of red, and it flickers. It is still. Ten mins now and still there. Sooo bright. Eastern skies. South eastern maybe? It is sure STILL and brighter than any star I have ever seen. It reminded me of a helicopter maybe? But it is too far away for a plane or helicopter to be shining that bright. Any input?
     
  12. Nov 15, 2008 #11

    russ_watters

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    Welcome to PF.

    Sirius, by far the brightest star in the sky, rises in the southeast at around 10:00. By 11:45, it would be about 20 degrees in altitude. With polluted or turbulent skies, it would still flicker and change color noticeably at that altitude, but it is a blue star. Can you recognize the constellation Orion? It is characterized by 3 relatively bright stars forming his belt. Sirius below him right now.
     
  13. Nov 16, 2008 #12
    Hey thanks, I thought it could be a star, but I still have my doubts. I think it may have been the shuttle launched at around 8pm EST. if it was, I think it was strange I was able to view it and mark it as the brightest light in the sky (aside from the moon) at 11:30pm – 12:20am PST. Hey at least our astronauts will be able to drink their own urine now… how smart are we? But the main reason I have my doubts is I have never seen Sirius shine that bright and flicker red. Also, the star/shining object actually did move, just very slowly. Much slower than a satellite even. Is it possible that I may have been viewing the shuttle?
     
  14. Nov 16, 2008 #13
    No, If anything a shuttle would be moving faster than satellites unless it was in a geosynchronous orbit.

    Anything can flicker and change colours depending on the amount of particles the photons are having to get through, At low angles things will theoretically appear more red than say a light source straight above you at 90 degrees to the earth.

    This is why the clouds in a sunset are red/orange, Because the photons get 'slowed' down by the particles in the atmosphere because they are at a low angle to the earth.
     
  15. Nov 16, 2008 #14

    russ_watters

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    The shuttle only takes about 10 minutes to get to orbit and flies east, depending on the particulars of the orbit it is going to. It is pretty rare that it flies north enough for anyone else besides those in Florida to see it. It's a spectacular sight, but you couldn't have seen it from California. And when it's in orbit, it looks like a very bright satellite, traversing the entire sky in just a few minutes.

    Anyway, you'll get more chances to see it if it was Sirius...
     
  16. Jan 3, 2011 #15
    It's Jan.2, 2011 and I can see that same star here in Vancouver, BC. I agree with you- it's not mars or venus or even a star. It's intense and I never noticed it before tonight. Could it be from a light source much closer than the planets? (ie. a mothership or an experiment in orbit the public doesn;t know about?)
     
  17. Jan 3, 2011 #16
    so interesting! if it were a planet or any Luminary it should be visible every where in the world and because others havent seen it, it would be sth in your country.
     
  18. Jan 3, 2011 #17

    Borek

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    How do you know it is the same?
     
  19. Jan 10, 2011 #18
    Hey guys,

    how do I know what star I'm seeing at ?

    how am I going to differentiate if its a star or a planet in our solar system ?

    how to know if I'm currently watching Venus ?

    ------

    I have been watching a start shining brightly in the night time at about 22:00 local time. I live in Mauritius, found in Indian Ocean near Madagascar. It was shining at east and there was no other stars near it ( viewing from naked eye ).
     
  20. Jan 10, 2011 #19

    Borek

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    There are programs that will draw a map of a sky for you, you just need to enter time and position. Quick googling for a free software reveals SkyChart at http://www.ap-i.net/skychart/start but I am sure there are more. There are also commercial products, like StarryNight used by one of the PF regulars.
     
  21. Jan 10, 2011 #20

    russ_watters

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    I was curious, so I took a look - the closest thing I see is Spica, but it rises an hour later. Or possibly Sirius, though it is pretty high by 2200. There aren't any extremely bright stars or planets in the eastern sky in Madagascar in the evening right now.
     
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