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Strange sighting 00:43 06 Jan 2009 over D15

  • mjc
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Not sure if this is the correct category.

I had reason to be out at 00:43 with a friend from Dublin Airport(and familiar with air traffic).
We witnessed a bright orange object traverse the sky in a roughly north-south direction. it was very bright - but not glowing per se. It appeared very fast - much faster than an aircraft. Friend confirmed not regular flight path (probably no flights at this time also but that is my immediate speculation). No navigation lights. It did not appear to be extended (in sense of bollide etc). No trail, no sound, no change in angular motion. no change in brightness - but passed over prevailing cloud and dimmed appropriately. Faided over observation period in a manner that was consistent with perceived distance only.
I'd say less than a ten second event in total - maybe fifteen if one includes initial path not observed.

This was definetly not a firework or chinese lantern, or aircraft. I would say it was definetly not a satellite or we would have seen it before or will see it again - but faster than shuttle or ISS etc. It did not flare.
It was promenant - one couldn't miss it. It was like red tank of space shuttle only brighter and much faster.

I had a definite sense of high altitude - high velocity object but can make no deduction at this time as to what it might have been.

Any suggestions welcome - but I suspect that this will end up one of those strange ones.

Tomorrow I will revisit notes and see if I can improve in direction of motion / path etc.

This was unusual - I have never seen anything like this before.

Mark
12 years 4 months ago #82995

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Replied by dave_lillis on topic Re:Strange sighting 00:43 06 Jan 2009 over D15

Well this is a tough one, someone who knows their stuff yet cant explain the observation.
It had to be either a satellite or a airplane, maybe it was military?
Most of the iridium satellites have a north/south south/north trajectory, although I've never seen a steadily bright one that was red.

Maybe it was a low flying aircraft and the redness was reflected light pollution ?
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12 years 4 months ago #83001

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Could it have been the Garda helicopter with its search light cooling down going covertly to a job?
12 years 4 months ago #83003

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Replied by Seanie_Morris on topic Re:Strange sighting 00:43 06 Jan 2009 over D15

A chopper would have been heard at that altitude, you can hear them from quite a distance. Alpha Sierra's 1 and 2 (the Garda choppers) all have flying lights, I think it's still mandatory for them.

Could it have been space junk in low orbit, tumbling as it did so, with one side catching either moonlight or Earth's light? I have seen something like this twice before. It was a bright red- or orange-white colour. I have seen space junk burn up in the atmosphere too. Did slow very slowly, only for the 'fizzing' action (with virtually no trail left behind) I could have said it was a standard iridium or other satellite pass...

Seanie.
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12 years 4 months ago #83005

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Replied by Frank Ryan on topic Re:Strange sighting 00:43 06 Jan 2009 over D15

Sounds like the 'Fast' unlisted satellites that were
observed by a few board members (myself included)
here a few months back.
Most likely explanation is a military sat.

It sounds exactly like what I saw on the other instances
and I have seen (and photographed) my fair share of ISS / Shuttle / Iridium / Satellites.

It may be an interesting exercise to work out how high it would of had
to have been to reflect sunlight.
The guy that runs the Heavens Above site might be someone to contact re that.
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12 years 4 months ago #83007

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