1. Not finding help here? Sign up for a free 30min tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

What the heck did I see?

  1. Jun 20, 2004 #1
    Last night at around 11:00pm EST, I was outside doing some backyard astronomy. After looking at Jupiter for a little bit through my telescope I decided to do some ‘shooting star’ watching. I set up a lawn chair and looked up at the nice, clear sky. I saw a couple of faint meteors and a few satellites pass overhead. At around 11:30, after shifting position, now looking to the East, I saw a bright flash in the corner of my eye. I thought it had been a bright meteor that I had just missed so I turned to where I had seen it and just looked in that direction (in Cygnus). About 2 minutes later I saw, at least I THINK I saw, a faint star in Cygnus flare up very quickly in brightness and then die down. It only lasted about a second or two at the very most but it was bright enough for me to stand up and just stare in that direction out of disbelief for about 5 minutes. To me, it looked like it had gotten as bright as Jupiter was, which was on the opposite side of the sky. Anyway, after that, I went inside and got a pair of binoculars and looked at the star where I had seen it. But nothing seemed odd about it. I observed it for about 10 or 15 minutes, but it just looked normal.

    Attached is a chart where I saw the flash.

    Anyway, what the heck was it? Am I crazy? I do notice that I am prone to phosphenes [A sensation of light caused by excitation of the retina by mechanical or electrical means rather than by light, as when the eyeballs are pressed through closed lids. –Dictionary.com], but all the ones I’ve had didn’t at all look like what I experienced and didn’t last nearly as long.

    Any help would be great, thanks!

    :confused: :confused: :confused:
     

    Attached Files:

  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 20, 2004 #2

    chroot

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

  4. Jun 20, 2004 #3
    Thanks chroot! I guess that would make sense. I remember hearing about those things before, but I totally forgot.

    Has anyone else seen one of those?
    :smile:
     
  5. Jun 20, 2004 #4

    chroot

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I've seen a few, mostly by accident. A few people I know love them and use forecasting programs so that they can go out specifically looking for them.

    - Warren
     
  6. Jun 20, 2004 #5
    Wow! I just saw another one. I went to http://www.heavens-above.com and they have online forcasters for them. The one I just saw about 5 minutes ago was about a mag. -8. I think I found a new hobby. LoL
     
  7. Jun 20, 2004 #6

    chroot

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    You might also want to consider watching for ISS passes -- they're pretty cool too!

    - Warren
     
  8. Jun 20, 2004 #7
    I've seen a couple of ISS passes. One with the shuttle docked, it was really neat. With binoculars you can see 2 bright points side by side. I'm assuming it was the 2 main solar panels.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?



Similar Discussions: What the heck did I see?
  1. What did I see? (Replies: 2)

  2. What can I see? (Replies: 11)

  3. What did I see? (Replies: 4)

Loading...