Nova/Supernova seen on Dec 26?

  • Thread starter DMuitW
  • Start date
In summary, an amateur astrophotographer observed two non-existent bright sources near Regulus, which peaked in brightness for 30 seconds before one of them dimmed suddenly and the other dimmed slowly over 10 seconds. These objects were not moving and had a brightness of around -1, ruling out planes or satellites. It is likely that they were Iridium flares, which can be seen in the sky for 7 days based on location.
  • #1
DMuitW
26
0
Hi all,
I’m an amateur astrophotographer, and while I was I was shooting frames just this morning (approx 5.50GMT, Dec 26), something very peculiar was seen.Two non-existent bright sources (approx 4 or 5° apart) were popping up around next to Regulus, and peaked in brightness almost immediately.
They remained like this for around 30 seconds, after which one of the sources dimmed nearly instantaneous, whereas the other dimmed over the next 10 seconds to almost invisible with the naked eye. I was too slow to send my telescope in the right direction, but have managed to shoot some follow up frames thereafter, which I am processing now.
The brightness of the objects was around -1, and they were non-moving. As such, this would rule out planes/satellites.
What could this have been? Have there been any other reports?

Kind regards,
Matt
 
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  • #2
Here is a site that you can send your report to.

http://www.supernovae.net/snimages/vsnet.html"
 
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  • #3
Does this description sound familiar? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipe...April_3#an_extra_star_in_the_big_dipper.3F.21

They're not supernovae/novae if they disappeared in 30 seconds, because supernovae/novae take weeks to brighten and fade out. One possibility is a high-orbiting, slowly rotating satellite. It could be orbiting so slowly that you didn't notice movement, and rotating slowly enough that you saw glare from the Sun for 30 seconds.
 
  • #4
I'll add that it's incredibly improbable for two stars separated by 5° (which, in all likelihood, means they are light years from each other) to go nova simultaneously from our point of view.

They were probably satellites. Your observations rule out two of the most common types: they were moving too slow for satellites in low Earth orbit, and they were in the wrong place in the sky for satellites in the geostationary orbit. They could've been GPS satellites.
 
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  • #5
What you described sounds like a flare from an Iridium satellite. This website http://www.heavens-above.com" gives 7 day predictions based on your location. Iridium flares can be as bright as -9. The first few times that you see one, it looks like they aren't moving. With a little practice, you can see the movement. Also, the brighter ones last longer and you can see their movement better.
 
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Related to Nova/Supernova seen on Dec 26?

1. What is a nova/supernova?

A nova/supernova is a sudden, dramatic increase in the brightness of a star. It occurs when a star reaches the end of its life and undergoes a catastrophic explosion.

2. Why was this nova/supernova seen on Dec 26?

This nova/supernova was seen on Dec 26 because that was the date when the explosion occurred, releasing a burst of energy and light that could be observed from Earth.

3. How far away is this nova/supernova?

The distance of this nova/supernova from Earth can vary greatly, as there are many different types of stars that can undergo a nova/supernova and they can be located in different parts of the universe. However, it is likely to be thousands or even millions of light years away.

4. What is the significance of this nova/supernova?

Nova/supernovae are important events in the life cycle of a star, as they release large amounts of energy and can have a significant impact on their surrounding environment. They also provide scientists with valuable insights into the processes and physics of stars.

5. Can we see this nova/supernova with the naked eye?

It depends on the brightness of the nova/supernova and its distance from Earth. Some can be seen with the naked eye, while others may require a telescope or binoculars to observe. However, it is always important to use caution when observing celestial events and to never look directly at the sun or any other bright objects in the sky.

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