Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Strange Sun-like Object Any Ideas?

  1. Nov 10, 2003 #1
    Strange Sun-like Object... Any Ideas???

    A few days ago, my family and I were stuck in a traffic jam on the expressway about an hour before sunset. There were no clouds in the sky and my sister pointed out what appeared to be a small sun a quite a bit to the southeast of the larger one. I have seen comets, shooting stars, and aircraft of many types, but never anything of this magnitude, especially during broad daylight. The object was nearly identical to the sun in color and brightness, and about 1/5 it's size. It appeared to remain stationary for the hour or so until sunset, at which point we lost sight of it, though I couldn't say whether it disappeared or sunk below the horizon. I've wracked my brains and the only thing I haven't ruled out is some sort of bizarre geomagnetic event. There were no reports in newspapers or astronomy journals in the area that I am aware of, and I am thoroughly stumped as to what it could have been. Any ideas would be appreciated.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 10, 2003 #2

    NateTG

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Could it have been a reflection of the sun?

    Under certain circumstanaces, the surfaces of temperature difference in the air can become reflective. If the object was close to the sun in brightness and size and color, that's a possibility.

    If you only saw it from inside the car, then it might also have been a reflection onto your windshield from a convenient surface.
     
  4. Nov 10, 2003 #3

    Labguy

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Probably a "sundog", especially if you live where it is cold this time of year. Usually seen in pairs,one left and one right of the sun. Any search will turn up a lot about sundogs and how they form.

    Labguy
     
  5. Nov 10, 2003 #4

    blu

    User Avatar

    Maybe it was the moon?

    Im not sure whether the moon has been known to reflect light,
    and it would appear much larger than the sun hmmm ..
     
  6. Nov 10, 2003 #5
    Of course the moon reflects light. It certainly wouldn't be too bright without the Sun. And it would appear about the same size as the Sun... unless perhaps by illusion. But the two are approximatey the same angular diameter.
     
  7. Nov 10, 2003 #6
    There was a lunar eclipse about 2 days ago, could it have had to do with that?
     
  8. Nov 11, 2003 #7

    russ_watters

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Since at the tme of a lunar eclipse, the moon is on the OPPOSITE side of the earth from the sun, its unlikely it was the moon.
     
  9. Nov 11, 2003 #8
    Which reminds me I didn't get too see it because of clouds :(
     
  10. Nov 12, 2003 #9

    Phobos

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Precisely. During the lunar eclipse (and any full moon), the moon is on the opposite side of the sky from the sun. A full Moon is just rising in the east as the sun is setting in the west. The Moon appears closer to the sun in the sky when it's less than full, but then it wouldn't appear circular, would it? (i.e., crescent moon)

    The sun dog explanation seems like a good one. Quick links...
    http://www.amtsgym-sdbg.dk/as/halo/
    http://itss.raytheon.com/cafe/qadir/q2546.html
     
  11. Nov 14, 2003 #10
    Why the 'of course' ?
    Not everyone knows the same things as everyone else.
    What is 'of course' to you today was news to you at some point in the past ( unless, of course, you have known that since birth ).
     
  12. Jun 28, 2011 #11
    Re: Strange Sun-like Object... Any Ideas???

    I vote that it was the moon.
     
  13. Jun 28, 2011 #12

    Dotini

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Re: Strange Sun-like Object... Any Ideas???

    I saw something like this phenomenon about two months ago in Seattle.

    Here is a video of a similar apparition seen in China. It has been determined to be a mirage.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8fWUPlqwlQ&feature=related

    What is not a mirage are electric blue noctilucent clouds, now being seen all over Earth shortly after sunset. They were completely unknown 100 years ago, so our atmosphere must be evolving in certain ways...

    Respectfully submitted,
    Steve
     
  14. Jun 28, 2011 #13

    turbo

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Re: Strange Sun-like Object... Any Ideas???

    Is this a necropost record?
     
  15. Jun 28, 2011 #14

    Dotini

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Re: Strange Sun-like Object... Any Ideas???

    What are the Forum rules for such matters? Are questions, answers or other data known to "go bad" after a certain period of time? Why shouldn't all threads automatically be deleted after say, 90 hours or 90 days of inactivity?

    All that is gold does not glitter
    Not all who wander are lost
    The old that is strong does not wither
    Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2011
  16. Jun 28, 2011 #15

    bcrowell

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Re: Strange Sun-like Object... Any Ideas???

    It's frowned upon to "necropost." One reason is that people start making an effort to reply to your post, not realizing that they're wasting their time because the thread was from 8 years ago and the people involved are no longer looking at the thread.

    Because threads can contain permanently useful material.
     
  17. Jun 28, 2011 #16

    Evo

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Re: Strange Sun-like Object... Any Ideas???

    But they should be locked as the older threads no longer meet our rules.
     
  18. Aug 10, 2011 #17

    FlexGunship

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Re: Strange Sun-like Object... Any Ideas???

    Aah ha! You registered an account for the sole purpose of voting on a hypothesis that was clearly discredited 5 posts (and 8 years) ago?

    That's a necropost record in two respects.

    I think you're late for your vote with the Warren commission.
     
  19. Sep 27, 2011 #18
    Re: Strange Sun-like Object... Any Ideas???

    it couldent have been the moon because it the moon was next to the sun the surface of the moon facing us would be away from the sun so it wouldent have been very bright. my vote is on soe sort of atmospheric refraction.
     
  20. Sep 27, 2011 #19

    Borek

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Re: Strange Sun-like Object... Any Ideas???

    Apparently this thread needs to be locked.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?



Similar Discussions: Strange Sun-like Object Any Ideas?
  1. Strange date ideas (Replies: 44)

  2. Any Ideas ? (Replies: 8)

  3. Any ideas? (Replies: 25)

Loading...