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B Can someone please identify what I saw? (lights in the night sky)

  1. Aug 3, 2017 #1
    I'm the farthest thing in the world from an expert, but I've seen the usual number of pictures and Discovery Channel programs... and I never saw anything like I saw last night (8-1):

    I'm in San Diego, California. I went outside Tuesday night a little bit after 11 PM, and was casually looking around at the night sky while one of my friends finished talking to another friend. I noticed a little moving light up there, but didn't pay it any heed at first, because here in San Diego we have lots of military bases, and it's not uncommon to see a plane or helicopter, and its attendant lights, at night. But then:

    Suddenly, a short vertical streak of bright greenish-blue light appeared; it was very clear and sharp-edged, even in width throughout, and looked solid, not dusty or cloudy. After a fraction of a second, the streak became a star of sorts; not like the fuzzy glowing dots that you see with the naked eye, but like someone had drawn a star shape with lines, vaguely like this:

    [​IMG]

    Still bright greenish-blue, each of the lines seemed very clear and sharp-edged, a little thicker towards the middle and thinner and pointed at the end… this is beyond my ability to create an image of, sadly. There was absolutely no sound, and in the quiet suburban night I would have expected to hear something if there was an explosion… but this was so neat and perfect, it doesn't seem like it could have been caused by anything as chaotic as an explosion. Seriously, it looked perfectly symmetrical, like somebody had created it in Photoshop, and it maintained its size and shape as I looked at it. It looked like it was half an inch long from my perspective, so it was either small or high up; I don't know how to tell, but it was CLEAR, not soft or fuzzy. I saw the star for a couple of seconds, and then it was just gone. It did not fade, fizzle, spread out, break up; it was just gone. I saw absolutely nothing else in that area of the sky, no hint of smoke, falling debris, nothing. At no point before, during, or after the star was visible was there any evidence of anything flying around up there, or a laser beam coming up from the ground or elsewhere, or anything else at all in the sky other than clouds and a sprinkling of stars.

    I have already taken this question to an astronomy forum, but because I did not see a glowing glob, which is what the various kinds of meteors all basically look like, and what I saw was far too geometrical and perfect to be an explosion of a meteor, this does not appear to be an astronomy issue.

    Can anybody tell me what on earth I saw?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 3, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 3, 2017 #2

    jedishrfu

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  4. Aug 3, 2017 #3

    davenn

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    only in the rarer bolide ( fireball ) meteors ... all the rest are just streaks

    your image isn't there

    we are also entering the annual Perseid meteor shower so chances are that it was one of them
     
  5. Aug 3, 2017 #4
    Was it over land or sea?., particular could you associate it with a nearby city?
    I've seen some pretty impressive light shows done with lasers, but they only work well if projected on to a base of clouds.
     
  6. Aug 3, 2017 #5
  7. Aug 3, 2017 #6
    I checked, and those meteors don't look any different than other meteors, there are just more of them… And they don't look anything like what I saw. :-)
     
  8. Aug 3, 2017 #7
    It's hard to be positive, since San Diego is on the water, but I assume it was over land. Since it looked like it was over me and I'm in San Diego, I assume it's associated with San Diego if anything. Laser light shows last more than 2 seconds, are not usually done at 11 PM on a work night, create designs that are bigger than half an inch as seen from the ground, and of course the lasers themselves are generally visible.
     
  9. Aug 3, 2017 #8

    davenn

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    from your description ... still sounds like a meteor and one that broke up
     
  10. Aug 3, 2017 #9
    It would greatly help me if you could direct me to pictures of meteors, either broken up or not, that look like greenish-blue stars, or anything in the universe of that... because as best as I can determine, no meteor ever photographed looks remotely like what I saw. :-)
     
  11. Aug 3, 2017 #10

    Nidum

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    Space junk can sometimes burn up in spectacular ways . Often very different to ordinary meteors .
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2017
  12. Aug 3, 2017 #11
    Very true, I'm sure, but what I saw didn't look like fireworks, or an explosion, or something glowing or burning up… It looked like a perfect star, with sharp straight edges, perfect points, perfect geometry and symmetry, that somebody made in Photoshop. I'm not quite ready to believe that some random burn-up created what I saw. If I'm wrong… Then show me a picture. :-)
     
  13. Aug 3, 2017 #12

    Nidum

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  14. Aug 3, 2017 #13
    Pretty picture… with no similarity whatsoever to what I saw. The picture shows glowing globs with a few stumpy rays coming off of them, and there's a bunch of them. I saw ONE star, and there was no glow to it whatsoever; it was a sharp, angular, geometrically perfect star.
     
  15. Aug 3, 2017 #14
    I think its time to ask if you know anyone else who saw it.
     
  16. Aug 3, 2017 #15
    Excuse you, LOL?
     
  17. Aug 3, 2017 #16

    davenn

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    without a photo ( and even then with a photo) it can be difficult - impossible to identify
    and basically a waste of everyone's time playing the guessing game
     
  18. Aug 3, 2017 #17

    mfb

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    Just in case that is not clear: No one, maybe apart from you, can see the picture in the first post. It is only shown to users of some other forum.

    Did you watch it though some window, with glasses, via a camera, or in some other way through something?
     
  19. Aug 3, 2017 #18
    If you think that it's a waste of your time, by all means stop reading and posting on this thread. Anyone else who shares your opinion can do the same.

    If what I saw has a scientific explanation, then someone with the right scientific knowledge should be able to recognize it from the description, in the same way that we can all recognize the description of a cat or a tree without seeing a photo. It will quickly become apparent if anybody here knows anything about what I saw.
     
  20. Aug 3, 2017 #19

    davenn

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    OMG ... not even in the same ball park
    you are not the first to post stuff like this on the forum and you wont be the last
    I have been doing astronomy for 50 years and would consider I have pretty good knowledge of the subject

    your description is incredibly obscure at best and that is being kind :smile:

    I seriously doubt it .... since all the best possible descriptions given so far, you shot down
     
  21. Aug 3, 2017 #20
    No, it was not clear that no one else could see the image. Unfortunately, Photobucket is no longer doing third-party hosting, so I don't know where to put the image so that you can see it... unless there is a way to upload it directly to the forum that I didn't find?

    I was standing outside when I saw the star; no windows, no glasses, no camera, just plain naked-eye viewing. I had not consumed any alcohol or other such substances. I am not on meds. I was not sleepy, nor had I been asleep. I was assuming that there was some obvious and simple explanation for what I saw… And I'm fascinated to see that there is not!
     
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