Glowing object

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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?
 

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  • #2
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It's a flying saucer for sure!
 
  • #3
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It is a sign from the heavens foreboding great woe.
 
  • #4
russ_watters
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Which direction was it? In late evening, Jupiter is rising in the southeast and is very bright.
 
  • #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.")
 
  • #6
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Which direction was it? In late evening, Jupiter is rising in the southeast and is very bright.

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?
 
  • #7
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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.")
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.
 
  • #8
Moonbear
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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?
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.
 
  • #9
Astronuc
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(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.")
: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 [Broken]

http://gallery.balloonfiesta.com/ [Broken]
 
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  • #10
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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.
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?
 
  • #11
Astronuc
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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?
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.
 
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  • #12
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Jupiter would be a bright spot.
Brighter than any star as seen from an observer on earth?
 
  • #13
Astronuc
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Brighter than any star as seen from an observer on earth?
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/ [Broken]

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

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.
 
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  • #14
Moonbear
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although I think it's "Bend and stretch, . . ."
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.
 
  • #15
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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/ [Broken]

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

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.
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.
 
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  • #16
Astronuc
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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.
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?
 
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  • #17
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Brighter than any star as seen from an observer on earth?
the Moon?


the Sun?
 
  • #18
Moonbear
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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?
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).
 
  • #19
russ_watters
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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?
Well, these days it takes about six hours to traverse the sky, so you tell me: what was the direction change like?
 
  • #20
russ_watters
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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.
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
 
  • #21
russ_watters
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Brighter than any star as seen from an observer on earth?
It is roughly 6x brighter than the brightest star in the sky.

And it is bright enough to see it as red/orange.
 
  • #22
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It is roughly 6x brighter than the brightest star in the sky.

And it is bright enough to see it as red/orange.
Not to go too off topic, but this sounds a lot like an experience I had...

While attending a car show in Knoxville TN back in 2000, a few friends and myself were spending the night in a cabin out in the country. Around 1AM EST a couple of people on the back deck started yelling saying that they see a UFO in the sky. I was inside at the time and decided to grab someones video camera to get it on film. I didn't think to look for navigational stars at the time, but I believe the object was approx E in the sky at approximately a 45 degree angle to the horizon. It's been so long that I can't remember the exact date, but it was either the April 17-19 or Sept 11-14 event... most likely in Sept.

The camera was a HI-8mm mile this one...
http://www.photographyreview.com/channels/photographyreview/images/products/product_333851.jpg

With the naked eye the object had a red and yellowish flickering color to it. When you zoomed in ~75-80% the object would change from a flickering blot to a flicker ring such as this...
http://www.bro.lsu.edu/images/m57_ring_color_thumb.jpg

The object was obviously distorted due to the lack of resolution on the cameras part. It would stay ring-shaped for a second then shift back to a disc-shaped blot, then back again over and over. The object slowly drifted across the sky somewhat like how the moon does when you view it through a telescope. I had the camera propped up on an empty pack of cigarettes so that the camera wouldn't shake. The object moved slowly but about every 15sec or so I would have to shift the camera a bit to bring the object back into view. This continued until the tape ran out... all auto adjusting features were also turned off during filming. When I woke back up in the morning with the sun starting to rise, the object was still there and was the brightest 'star' in the sky... an attention grabber if anyone was to casually look up. It was pretty much in the same area of the sky, though overall it moved just a tad higher and more to the south... total movement of ~1' to 1-1/2' at arms length. When I checked again around 9-10AM it was either gone or undetectable.

Every person that we showed the video to would suddenly say "UFO!", but a friend and myself always remained skeptical. If Jupiter or any other planet is zoomed in on with a cam corder, could the planet appear to change shapes?
 
  • #23
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  • #24
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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?
I don't live near an airport. It moved too slowly for it to be an aircraft. Probably too slow even to be a ballon as it moved a noticable amount in 2 hours. However it was still visible from the exact spot I was standing 2 hours ago.
 
  • #25
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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?
What do you mean by traverse the sky? Does it mean to rise from the horizon and then dissapear again to the new horizon.
 

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