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Bright, sparkling object in the sky


Janel

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Late at night when I am walking home from the studio, I have observed an unusually bright object perhaps 30° to 35° above the horizon. A couple of weeks ago it was on the east north east side, and last night around 11-11:30 p.m. it was west south west. It is bright, seemingly stationary except for the turning of the earth, and sparkles or twinkles white and red, and perhaps sometimes on the other side a cool color might be flashing. It is as large as the largest star or planet in this winter season sky. It sparkles more than the stars do, and again, it is very bright with a smaller contribution of bright red on one side. Last night the red was on the north side.

 

I used binoculars to see if anything clearly showed, though it only made me convinced that the red was a reality. I have some astigmatism, so even with binoculars the brightness was a bit of a starburst of rays, so I could not discern a shape. Then I switched to the east and looked at the marvelous, large moon! Wow!!! What a sight! I wish that I had looked the other night when it was full. It is amazing to know that it is so close to earth and that we can see its larger surface textures.

 

I looked up the International Space Station and found this page http://spaceflight1.nasa.gov/realdata/sightings/ . I used my zipcode for more local information for ground observation. I will have to wait for another clear horizon night to see if it might be the space station.

 

So, is anyone have knowledge of astronomy or space objects that are orbiting earth that might have a clue about what I am seeing?

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Janel,

Don't have any astronomy knowledge.

Possibly Mars ? Don't think it could be Venus because that's supposed to be the morning star.

 

If it is the space station ...... give them a wave to say hello ha ha. You never know, with all the technology they have these days, they just might see you.

Cheers

Mike.

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The space station isn't stationary Janel. It passes quite quickly.Usually showing one reflective color.

Agree with Mike, quite likely Mars.

It can be alarminly bright at times depending on atmosphere conditions, etc.

 

Or just maybe --------------------------------- lol

 

Bill

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Hi guys, Thanks for the suggestions.

 

I'll agree about the space station, and seem to recall that it moves quickly. It may just be my eyes, since the lower right star of the Orion constellation has a red sparkle to it too tonight. Maybe it is a sign that my eyes are changing, I do not recall ever seeing red sparkle with the twinkling of the stars before.

 

Mars is not a white dot in the sky I believe, and planets do not twinkle like stars. Venus, Mars, Saturn and Mercury are visible now and Jupiter is visible in the morning sky.

 

Maybe it is time to get my eyes checked!

 

Janel

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I checked it out the best I could last night. We've had fog on a regular basis, not normal, so I didn't get a good look to the SSW and relied on online charts. I know it wasn't Mars or any other planet at that time and place. I think Janel has a valid suspect. There are some interesting object in that area at that time. When objects get close to horizon our atmosphere can act like a telescope and magnify what we are observing as well as causing color shifts. I understand that's why the Moon looks so much larger when it comes up versus high in the sky. Sometimes we're just lucky to be outside at the right time and place.

 

I wasn't very good at identifying stars, planets and consolations when I was younger. Each year I learn a few more and the dots become more connected. You even learn to tell time and season. Or get your bearing in a strange place. It's one of the things that makes getting older an advantage. That and online sky charts.

 

I don't think Janel needs new glasses. I might, the stars I see fine but the TV is sure getting fuzzy.

 

John

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You are welcome Janel.

 

 

TV is sure getting fuzzy.

 

John, (Lend it your razor.) -- sorry, I couldn't resist.

 

Apparently there is a lot of space junk (way to go humans) floating around that can be subjected to Johns explanation.

 

Armageddon online (I know that sounds weird but) has a lot of interesting happenings posted.

http://www.armageddononline.org/

 

 

And if you wish to be humbled a bit --- have a look at the comparisons here --

 

http://www.armageddononline.org/make-you-feel-small.html

 

I don't have high speed, but have you ever checked out the pictures from the Hubble telescope? If not do so. Breathtaking beauty indeed.

 

Bill

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