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What have I seen?

  1. Aug 18, 2011 #1


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    Staff: Mentor

    Here is the story: I was on the camping in Vrboska, on the Hvar island (Croatia). One night I looked up and there was something looking like a bright (but not unusually bright) star. What caught my attention was that after just a few seconds it started to fade and soon disappeared. At first I thought it was an Iridium flare (both brightness and the speed at which brightness changed was similar to other flares I have seen), trick is - there was no visible change in position. The lihgt was between branches of some pine tree, so I couldn't see surrounding stars well, could be there was some motion that I missed, however, Iridium satellites move relatively fast, this object changed the brightness without leaving quite small hole through which I saw this particular segment of the sky.

    Time: 20 July, 22:30 local time (give or take 10 minutes).
    My position: N 43º10'55" E16º41'13"
    Object position: RA 5h10m Dec 76º

    Object position is rather approximate - I remember it was more or less at the point determined by two perpendicular lines - one going through two Cassiopeia stars - Shedir and γCas, the other going through Polaris.

    Any ideas what that could be?
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2011
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 18, 2011 #2


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    Staff Emeritus
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    No idea, but I remember seeing something very similar 3-4 weeks ago myself. I'd say it's position was slightly south of Arcturus. It was around Midnight or so I think, give or take about 30 min. I'm here in Shreveport Louisiana. I only caught the tail end and had at most about a second as it was already fading when I turned around and saw it.
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