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Stargazing Strange looking star in the sky

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  1. Dec 14, 2016 #1
    Hi I am a new member,

    I felt compelled to find a forum to talk about what i have been watching in the night sky.

    I have been watching the sky most evening now for the last couple of weeks, since one Saturday evening around 12pm I noticed what at first sight looked like a plane siting in the sky and hardly moving. When looking at it through my binnocular there seem to be one larger light with flashing lights to the back of it, then I noticed that it did very slowly move, today i noticed this thing at dusk it was in the sky and I also noticed the moon looked quite large and very bright. What ever it is, it seems to been in the sky most nights in the same position. Please help me identify this star looking thing as it is driving me mad because i know it is not a star........any ideas anyone.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 14, 2016 #2
    needs more details like location specific time etc and maybe picture :)
     
  4. Dec 14, 2016 #3
    Are you sure that it's moving? What's it moving relative to? The other stars or the planet? If it's moving with respect to the stars but is constant on the horizon, that implies that it's on Earth, not in the air. A cell tower will appear to move very slowly if the only thing in the background is the star field, which moves as the earth rotates.
     
  5. Dec 14, 2016 #4

    fresh_42

    Staff: Mentor

    The inner planets, esp. Venus can be seen pretty well these days.

    And here's a website where you can track satellites.
    http://www.satview.org/?sat_id=25544U
    It's a link from another member and I've never adjusted the "home location" which might affect the notation of times.
     
  6. Dec 14, 2016 #5

    jedishrfu

    Staff: Mentor

    I'm pretty sure this was Venus. If you have a smart phone, you can download a good astronomy app that can identify it for you. I did that with my Distant Suns app on my iPhone.

    You'll also be able to get the objects RA and DE values. Venus appears roughly WSW when viewed at around 6pm. Details on its RA and Dec are found here:

    https://theskylive.com/venus-tracker
     
  7. Dec 14, 2016 #6
    It could be Venus, but that doesn't explain how the OP identifies
    "one larger light with flashing lights to the back of it".

    Possibly could be distortions caused by local atmosphere condition?
     
  8. Dec 15, 2016 #7

    davenn

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    indeed and also direction .... to north, south, east or western sky ??


    Dave
     
  9. Dec 17, 2016 #8

    mfb

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    Slowly (but still notably) moving objects can be satellites. The ISS is the brightest one but that is not blinking. Some satellites and rocket stages are tumbling and changing their brightness with periods between 1 and ~60 seconds, those are quite dim - some are visible to the naked eye, with binoculars many more are visible. They are not very prominent, so tracking them from day to day without an orbit calculation is not very plausible.

    Planets don't move visibly relative to stars, and the viewing conditions have to be really bad for them to flicker.
     
  10. Dec 17, 2016 #9

    Vanadium 50

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    Folks, the OP left here one minute after posting this, and hasn't been back since.
     
  11. Dec 17, 2016 #10

    fresh_42

    Staff: Mentor

    Yes, but the Venus tracker has been new to me. And I always thought that the movement of planets could be detected over a few hours so I have been surprised by the remark in #8. So it wasn't totally useless.
     
  12. Dec 17, 2016 #11

    mfb

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    ~4 degrees per day (1 moon diameter per 3 hours) relative to the stars at its closest approach, ~9 degrees per day (1 moon diameter in 1.5 hours) at its furthest point - but in those cases it is in the direction of sun. If it is slightly behind or ahead of us, when it is better visible (=its current location), its motion relative to the stars is much slower, sometimes going to nearly zero.

    Anyway, planets are incompatible with "I noticed that it did very slowly move" plus "it seems to been in the sky most nights in the same position".

    I guess we can't figure out what it is without more input from @jane ellis.
     
  13. Dec 18, 2016 #12

    davenn

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    the moving slowly could have been just the earth rotation who knows ???

    yet another thread where the poster bails on us :frown::rolleyes:

    over days to weeks the movement becomes very noticeable for Mercury, Venus, Mars and Jupiter

    During 2016, it was pretty cool to watch Mars wander back and forward across the sky as it moved in and out of the constellation of Scorpio several times and then finally move back through Scorpio and into Sagittarius


    Dave
     
  14. Dec 18, 2016 #13
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