Identification of an object in the sky

  • Thread starter Cladson
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I saw a star just yesterday night about southwest in the sky, and when viewed through my telescope it was flashing red and blue.It was no plane for it was there all night.Is this caused by the atmosphere?If not what is it?
 

Answers and Replies

Chronos
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Atmospheric fluctuations [e.g., pockets of airborne moisture or particulate matter] are the likely explanation - especially when viewing objects near the horizon.
 
russ_watters
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Could you tell us your location, what time, and be more specific about where (direction and altitude) you saw this object? Also, how much brighter was it than other objects? Looking at a planetarium program, there isn't much in the southwest in the evening sky for an observer in the northern hemisphere.
 
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Also, how regular was the flashing (this might help to find out if the observation was of artificial origin)
 
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The flashing thing was under Jupiter. More west in the sky than south.The falshing was pretty consistent. Probably half second intervals every once in a while it went a slight shade of purple.Im in florida on the pan handle between the two cities(Destin and pensacola).
 
russ_watters
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Well, a couple of degrees to the left and slighly above Jupiter is Venus, and a couple of degrees to the right and slightly below is Spica, a 1st magnitude star. Being so low (they set at about 8:30), all would flicker a lot.
 
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So the atmosphere causes the colors.I have never seen saturn yet. I will look tonihgt
 

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