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About those blue flashes in the sky.

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About those blue flashes in the sky. was created by Seanie_Morris

Hi all,
with regard to these blue flashes seen in the sky , which I have seen myself before (but not at source), I may have seen the source of some of them this morning.

I got home from work at 02:25hrs. Where I live is in very dark country surroundings, some of you know it! When I pulled up to the cottage, I got out and just decided to look up and enjoy the silence as well as the MilkyWay after my nights' work of boom-iss-boom-iss-boom-iss-boom-iss...
Anyway, there were a few Leonid meteors, spotted 3 Lyrids, 5 Bootids, and at one stage (in a triangle drawn from Alcor to Vega to Arcturus, or 25 X 20 X 15 degrees of sky) there were 5 simultaneous satellites passing overhead.
Then, as I was looking in this direction anyway, I saw the source of a blue flash. About 2 degrees to the right of Altair, below from Vega. Very brief, pinpoint, and quite bright. Time was 02:43hrs. Can't verify for sure as I was on my own and IF my eyes played a trick on me, but there was a hint of shadow on the ground at the time.
So I kept looking at that area to see if it might happen again. And it did, about 15-20 degrees further to the right again of Altair, same flash, pinpoint of light, and definitey dimly lit the ground in front of me. that was just beore 02:46hrs.
Didn't happen any more after that, and I went inside to bed at 02:55hrs as it was getting cold.
Prior to this, one of the Bootid meteors I saw was like it was heading straight for me. You know, very short in the tail, but it was a gradual rise and fall burst, as you would know a metor to be. However, the 2 flashes were instant, and directly in my line of site too. I would be slow to mention them as fireballs, as there was no evidence left afterwards such as ion tail, smoke, fizzling etc. They were definitely bright enoughin my opinion that a movie camera woud pick them up, or even a long exposure photo.

So, you never know what you might see up there!

Seanie.
Midlands Astronomy Club.
Radio Presenter (Midlands 103), Space Enthusiast, Astronomy Outreach Co-ordinator.
Former IFAS Chairperson and Secretary.
17 years 9 months ago #11600

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Replied by lionsden on topic Re: About those blue flashes in the sky.

Aliens with flash photography? :P :lol:
Leo @ Lionsden
Perhap because light travels faster than sound, some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
17 years 9 months ago #11602

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Replied by martinastro on topic Re: About those blue flashes in the sky.

Seanie great post and observing! When i read your words i got a surge of adenaline because last night myself and Conor also seen the very same object that you described in that same time slot and same area of sky. We agree that it was very bright (silver like a fireball) but as you say too sudden and of too long a duration to be a metoer/fireball so we assumed it must have been an irdium satellite perhaps in a decaying orbit or maybe some space debris turning and reflecting sunlight??? It was very bright indeed and very slow moving. At one stage we seen it shine through a patch of clouds....very cool to watch and as you say..you never know what you might see.

We seen 14 meteors last night and one fireball. Thanks for pointing out that the Bootids where active as i was not aware of this!

Great stuff!
Martin Mc Kenna

coruscations attending the whole length of the luminosity, giving to the phenomena the aspect of a wrathful messenger, and not that of a tranquil body pursuing a harmless course..comet of 1680
17 years 9 months ago #11604

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Replied by Seanie_Morris on topic Re: About those blue flashes in the sky.

but as you say too sudden and of too long a duration to be a metoer/fireball


Thanks Martin,
but, the duration was too sudden! I think you mean too short! The flash was like a camera flash waayy up in the sky.

we assumed it must have been an irdium satellite perhaps in a decaying orbit or maybe some space debris turning and reflecting sunlight???


I think I saw that from my perspective on the ground too. It was slowly moving, and 'twinkled' now and again. Definitely was not a plane, as they have a consistent flash of the strobe lights, and at different intervals.
This object was faint, and took about 2 minutes to cross about 30 degrees of sky from Libra into Hercules. I can't remember the time, but I guess around 02:40hrs.

It was an interesting night!

Seanie.
Midlands Astronomy Club.
Radio Presenter (Midlands 103), Space Enthusiast, Astronomy Outreach Co-ordinator.
Former IFAS Chairperson and Secretary.
17 years 9 months ago #11608

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Replied by dave_lillis on topic Re: About those blue flashes in the sky.

Seanie,
Thats interesting, it does sound like a satellite cought the sun at a perfect angle and gave you a bright flash, it would certainly explain it.
Still, it doesn't sound like an iridium style flash, its just too short.
This satellite must be spinning very quickly.
Dave L. on facebook , See my images in flickr
Chairman. Shannonside Astronomy Club (Limerick)

Carrying around my 20" obsession is going to kill me,
but what a way to go. :)
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17 years 9 months ago #11610

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Replied by Conor on topic Re: About those blue flashes in the sky.

As martin was saying above we also seen this. We were standing out in the football pitch when i seen a bright flash in the sky. It was like a ball of light and didn't spread out it was a estimate of around -4. As i didn't know if this was something i had seen or my eyes tricking me i told martin and we made another sighting very shortly after i seen the first flash. We believe this was a satellite out of orbit as was flickering from time to time and the flashes were not the same brightness which suggests that it was tumbling and the light was reflecting of the different parts of the objects body. As the shorter nights draw near and the sun is getting closer in the summer nights that these will become more of a regular occurrence to see as it is to see more satellites in the summer nights. We had also seen another satellite burning up earlier but this latest a lot longer and wasn't as bright. I cant think of anything else that it could have been but its nice to know that some else was looking at the same part of the sky as we were :D
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17 years 9 months ago #11611

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Replied by martinastro on topic Re: About those blue flashes in the sky.

Iridum satellites that are not re boosted would look like this as they tumble out of control in there orbits. There are a large number like this up there and the info is explained on the CALSKY website. Your correct Seanie i meant sudden. The flare was of a large intensity like a camera flash as you said then faded dramatically then flared again after some time. It moved VERY slowly and we watched it disappear in the east. I still think its an irdium satellite myself or turning space debris reflecting sunlight. Conor and i seen a similar object earlier on the same night only rotating faster. perhaps the heavens above website could shed some light on this? though of course not all irdium flares are known! if they are left to decay in there orbits.

Interesting night Seanie indeed. I seen a fireball at 00.13 UT and another member from the EAAS seen a fantasitc fireball in the evening twilight which left a smoke trail....theres lots of action up there! it really is a great hobby! :D
Martin Mc Kenna

coruscations attending the whole length of the luminosity, giving to the phenomena the aspect of a wrathful messenger, and not that of a tranquil body pursuing a harmless course..comet of 1680
17 years 9 months ago #11612

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Replied by Seanie_Morris on topic Re: About those blue flashes in the sky.

Interesting night Seanie indeed. I seen a fireball at 00.13 UT and another member from the EAAS seen a fantasitc fireball in the evening twilight which left a smoke trail....theres lots of action up there! it really is a great hobby! :D


Hence why Astronomy is top of the list for the in-science subject for geeks and interested people!

:D
Midlands Astronomy Club.
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Former IFAS Chairperson and Secretary.
17 years 9 months ago #11636

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Replied by dave_lillis on topic Re: About those blue flashes in the sky.

Those descriptions have finally nailed it for me.
The next task is to get a photograph of it, with all the canons out there, it shouldn't be that hard.
Dave L. on facebook , See my images in flickr
Chairman. Shannonside Astronomy Club (Limerick)

Carrying around my 20" obsession is going to kill me,
but what a way to go. :)
+ 12"LX200, MK67, Meade2045, 4"refractor
17 years 9 months ago #11650

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Replied by martinastro on topic Re: About those blue flashes in the sky.

Your spot on Dave. It shouldnt be a problem to image. I could have caught it with my ordinary digital camera if i had of remmembered to take it with me...typical

I will be looking out for future events like this and will keep my camera handy :D

Keep your eyes peeled guys...

Clear Skies!
Martin Mc Kenna

coruscations attending the whole length of the luminosity, giving to the phenomena the aspect of a wrathful messenger, and not that of a tranquil body pursuing a harmless course..comet of 1680
17 years 9 months ago #11654

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