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Any idea on how to identify a celestial event?

  1. Apr 8, 2012 #1
    hi, i have a quick question.....last april (04/24/11 1:22am/est to be exact) i witnessed a flash in the sky, small but visible with the naked eye.....about 20 minutes later my gf and i both saw it happen again in the same location.....no movement, no trail, just grew in intensity.....i attached a mock-up of how it looked to us.....since i know the exact date and time it happened and approximate location (during that night it was right next to alderamin), is there some way to look back through some telescopic records to find out what it was?.....of course all of this is based upon the possibility of that area of the sky being looked at/recorded during the time i happened to see it.....long shot, but i figured if somebody knew of a possibility, they'd be here.....thanks for your time!
     

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  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 8, 2012 #2

    davenn

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    Hi there
    welcome to the PF forums :)

    EST... where USA ? Australia ? somewhere else ?

    alderamin .... what is that ?? never heard of it


    is there some way to look back through some telescopic records to find out what it was?.....of course all of this is based upon the possibility of that area of the sky being looked at/recorded during the time i happened to see it.....long shot, but i figured if somebody knew of a possibility, they'd be here.....thanks for your time

    not likely ... it could have been many things. most likely a meteor coming into the atmosphere almost direct on to you., tho 2 on the same path so close in time would be unlikely

    My other though was an iridium flare from one of the iridium satellites, but again not likely to be repeated in the same place in the sky

    maybe a distant aircraft coming in your direction and you caught a couple of flashes of the landing lights as they happened to "sway' across you your visual path. Landing lights can be easily seen out to 30 or so kms and at that distance you wouldnt see the red and green navigation lights to realise it was an aircraft

    cheers
    Dave
     
  4. Apr 8, 2012 #3
    U lucky may be it was a ufo :p
     
  5. Apr 8, 2012 #4
    ah, yes, forgot about that......i'm located in central florida and here's some info about alderamin aka alpha cephei -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alpha_Cephei

    the flash only happened twice in ~20 minutes so i kinda ruled out any flying objects, "U" or otherwise.....the gif loops it, but it only happened twice (that i had seen).....i know there's almost no way it'll be identified, but i'd love to find out about some kind of burst in that area/time
     
  6. Apr 9, 2012 #5

    davenn

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    ahhhhh .... not in my sky... too far north :) tho I am well aware of Cepheid variable stars


    Dave
     
  7. Apr 9, 2012 #6

    Filip Larsen

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    Depending on the position in the sky it could have been a reflection of a satellite, like an Iridium flare. You can see a list of recent and upcoming Iridium flares on http://www.heavens-above.com/ - for the date in question thought it seems you have to change the date parameter manually in the URL to get the wanted date. If you list your geographic position (e.g. nearest larger city) where you observed the flare and the exact date (did you really mean April 24, 2011?) I (or others here) can help getting the list so you can check if a flare did occur around the time you mention.
     
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