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Can someone help me identify this object in my photo?

  1. Sep 5, 2005 #1
    I was in the country where it was dark and the sky was clear and beautiful, so I aimed my Canon Powershot A85 (a great camera, but not as good as a digital SLR) towards the sky and did a 15 second exposure just to see if it would see the Milky Way (because my eyes could a bit.)

    The picture was dark and didnt' show much until I brightened it, and then I noticed a strange object that looked like a large star with a tail or jet. I know it wasn't a shooting star or anything near by as that would have appeared as a long, thin streak like the line in the lower left of the photo which was a plane that flew by.

    I marked this object in the photo and enlarged it: http://www.aluminumstudios.com/lj/night_sky2434.jpg [Broken] Can anyone help me figure out what it is, if it is anything at all? I added the relavent location, direction, information into the photo.

    I like astronomy but know relatively little.


    ~William Milberry
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 6, 2005 #2


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    The image is unnaturally shaped [square] and very blue. Possibly a mercury vapor streetlight.
  4. Sep 6, 2005 #3
    I was in the middle of a field in the middle of the country and the object in quiestion was in the middle of the sky as I was looking straight up. It's not any type of street light ...

    Any squareness comes from the limited resolution of the image and the limited number of pixels with which the object was captured.
  5. Sep 6, 2005 #4


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    Can't be a sattelite, at 15 seconds that would be a long narrow streak like the plane.
  6. Sep 6, 2005 #5


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    You have captured internal lens flare from Vega, the really bright star in the Lyra constellation. If you will look at the right hand side of the photo, you will see the tiny arrow-shaped constellation of Sagitta. Star charts will tell you all the rest.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
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