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Glowing object

  1. Jun 14, 2008 #1

    tgt

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    Saw a glowing object with the colours of yellow and a bit of red that is not moving anywhere in particular on a relatively cloudy night where no stars nor the moon could be seen.

    What is that object? Can't be a plane. It is either some flying man made object or a planet?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 14, 2008 #2
    It's a flying saucer for sure!
     
  4. Jun 14, 2008 #3
    It is a sign from the heavens foreboding great woe.
     
  5. Jun 14, 2008 #4

    russ_watters

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    Which direction was it? In late evening, Jupiter is rising in the southeast and is very bright.
     
  6. Jun 14, 2008 #5

    Moonbear

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    Someone's hot air balloon on a night flight?

    Hmm...if the rain clouds let up, I'll have to venture out this evening and look for Jupiter. (Reminds me of the song they'd stretch to on Romper Room when I was a kid..."Stretch, and bend, and reach for the stars. Here comes Jupiter, there goes Mars.")
     
  7. Jun 14, 2008 #6

    tgt

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    It changed in direction a bit. But it was moving but very slowly. It is extremely bright and brighter than any stars that might be apparent on a non cloudy day. Could it still be Jupiter?
     
  8. Jun 14, 2008 #7

    tgt

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    Can't be a hot air balloon. It was glowing too much and seemed extremely far. The size of it was bigger than any star.
     
  9. Jun 14, 2008 #8

    Moonbear

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    If you see it again tonight in about the same place in the sky, that will make that possibility more viable. Otherwise, we're really just wildly guessing with so little information.
     
  10. Jun 14, 2008 #9

    Astronuc

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    :rofl: I remember that - from way back when my sister and youngest brother were kids, although I think it's "Bend and stretch, . . ."


    Some hot air balloons do night-time flights, but that's ususally restricted, and I think often starting just before sunrise.

    If you've seen a propane flame burn, it glows.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Hot_air_balloon_glow.jpg

    http://www.balloonfiesta.com/images/main/022208/05.jpg

    http://gallery.balloonfiesta.com/
     
  11. Jun 14, 2008 #10

    tgt

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    I'll do that. Meanwhile could someone post some pictures of Jupiter as seen by an observer on earth?

    Jupiter is a gas giant so would it emit its own light as well as reflecting off the sun?
     
  12. Jun 14, 2008 #11

    Astronuc

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    Jupiter would be a bright spot.

    Jupiter does not emit visible light (with the possible exception of the polar auroras, but they would be overwhelmed by reflected sunlight) - it's too cold, but it and Saturn, reflect sunlight and we can see them because they are large, as opposed to Mars and Venus, which are closer.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2008
  13. Jun 14, 2008 #12

    tgt

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    Brighter than any star as seen from an observer on earth?
     
  14. Jun 14, 2008 #13

    Astronuc

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    Yes - and they would not twinkle (fluctuation in apparent brightness) like a star. Sirius is the brighest star in the night sky.

    Look at the apparent magnitude here.
    http://www.astro.wisc.edu/~dolan/constellations/extra/brightest.html

    or a longer list
    http://seds.org/Maps/Stars_en/

    or even longer
    http://www.astro.uiuc.edu/~kaler/sow/bright.html

    But "on a relatively cloudy night where no stars nor the moon could be seen", one would likely not see Jupiter either. It would likely be a man-made object.
     
  15. Jun 14, 2008 #14

    Moonbear

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    Ah, that would make more sense. Hey, it was a long time ago; I'm lucky I remember it at all. :biggrin: I used to play along (and sing along) every day when I watched.
     
  16. Jun 14, 2008 #15

    tgt

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    It wasn't twinkling that much, just that the little red bits were twinkling. It is troubling that no other stars could be seen yet this one was so clearly visible and bright. Some pictures of Jupitar as seen by an observer on earth would be really good.
     
  17. Jun 14, 2008 #16

    Astronuc

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    Not too many people take pictures of the night sky showing the points of light. I looked for an example, but what I found was closeups.

    Neither Jupiter or star would show red. Aircraft do have red navigation lights.

    It's possible they were aircraft navigation lights - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Navigation_light. Do you live near an airport? Or you could be on a flight path?
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2008
  18. Jun 14, 2008 #17
    the Moon?


    the Sun?
     
  19. Jun 14, 2008 #18

    Moonbear

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    Yeah, I'm thinking something a bit closer to earth than a planet if the moon and stars were clouded over and this was still visible. The moon isn't exactly small right now. The cloud cover may have distorted anything you did see so you didn't recognize something that would have otherwise been obvious to identify (like a plane's lights).
     
  20. Jun 14, 2008 #19

    russ_watters

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    Well, these days it takes about six hours to traverse the sky, so you tell me: what was the direction change like?
     
  21. Jun 14, 2008 #20

    russ_watters

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    These things are very difficult to photograph in a way that makes them look similar to how they look to the naked eye. However:
    http://www.russsscope.net/images/Russ-Jupiter.jpg
     
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