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What did I see?

  1. Aug 24, 2011 #1
    Hi, I'm pretty new at this amateur astronomy thing, and I saw something through my telescope that I could not focus clearly enough on (as to be expected from a telescope I picked up from craigslist for $10). I would like help identifying it.
    Latitude: 40° 15' 36" N
    Longitude: 74° 16' 27" W (note: these are slightly approximated, should be within a 10 second margin though)
    Time: Wed 2011 Aug 24 3:50 -ish UTC, and persisted afterward
    Object location: In the vicinity of Jupiter (aim point RA: 2h 56m 54s)
    Object description: I saw a curved white line. I was unable to focus on it, so it was blurry and I can't give you much more than that. It might have been a disk shape, and I was seeing the edge? I think it was larger than the image of Jupiter - I could focus on Jupiter, yet the image of the line would still be large and unfocused.
    If this is the wrong place for this question I apologize.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 24, 2011 #2


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    The possibilites are endless - sounds like a lens flare to me. The human eye is very easily deceived.
  4. Aug 24, 2011 #3


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    I was just looking at Jupiter a few days ago, and I didn't see anything near it. Check again tonight if you can and make sure it isn't lens flare, or a cloud, or something else.
  5. Aug 24, 2011 #4


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    Sure you can. Sketch it.

    Use a pencil on paper (not a computer) so you can Draw all the fuzzy bits.
    Reverse black for white (or you'll go through your pencil in a hurry).
    Draw in the scope artifacts (such as field of view).
    Take a pic with your cellphone and attach.

    Also, what kind of scope? Newt? Dob? Refrac?
    Diameter? Mag? Eyepiece?
  6. Aug 25, 2011 #5
    Tried again the night after, seems you guys are right: it's gone. Appears to be lens flare. Thanks though!
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