Strange object

6 years 10 months ago #98159 by JohnShelton47
Strange object was created by JohnShelton47
Hi guys,

I was wondering if you could confirm the identity of an unusual light which I have observed on about half a dozen occasions in the last month. Recently, over the last four nights I have observed it more or less in the same twenty minute window. You'll have to forgive any vagueness in the following details as I am not up on the technical side of astronomical tracking, but using the Skyview and compass apps on my phone I can give you some information:
The light tends to originate just West of due South, at about an angle (again, taken from a compass app so I don't know if this helps) of 40 degrees. It moves to the West and tends to fade from view at an angle of around 60 degrees. It travels roughly past the stars Bootes and Gemma (the brightest stars identified by Skyview). Often, it intensifies in brightness to perhaps 3-5 times and then fades to it's original brightness. The change in intensity gives the impression of slight acceleration and decelaration but I figure that may be an optical illusion. I'm just curious as to whether any of your members have mentioned this light? It doesn't appear to have the same characteristics of the familiar satellite motion (shallow angle, steady brightness and speed). Here is a list of the times which I recorded recently, including tonight (twice).

8th July 12.36am typical appearance in the direction and angle mentioned above
10th July 12.27am as above
11th July 12.22am, as above
11th July 12.30am, this time lower (maybe 30-40 degrees)
12th July 12.16am typical appearance

If you'll excuse the pun, I hope that you may be able to shed some light on this for me? My location is Dublin 8, if that also helps.

Thanks in advance!

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6 years 10 months ago #98161 by DaveGrennan
Replied by DaveGrennan on topic Re: Strange object
John,

Iridium satellites. They are as group of satellites with a shiny side which slowly rotate and catch the sunlight up there in space and flare up in brighness. According to heavens-above.com various iridium flares were visible at or close to the times you mention. They are cool to look at and you can predict when they will appear. Go to www.heavens-above.com (suggest you register, it's free) and once you have entered your latitude and longitude, click on the link for iridium flares and you will get the predictions as to when and where they will appear from your location. Sometimes they get incredibly bright and you can make yourself look very clever to your friends by "commanding" them to appear at certain times :laugh:

Regards and Clear Skies,

Dave.
J41 - Raheny Observatory.
www.webtreatz.com
Equipment List here

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6 years 10 months ago #98162 by DaveGrennan
Replied by DaveGrennan on topic Re: Strange object
PS if you see this in time go out at 00:12 and you will see Iridium 39, 43 degrees up west south west.

Regards and Clear Skies,

Dave.
J41 - Raheny Observatory.
www.webtreatz.com
Equipment List here

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6 years 10 months ago #98163 by JohnShelton47
Replied by JohnShelton47 on topic Re: Strange object
Thanks Dave! I'll check that out. My friends were impressed actually :laugh:

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6 years 10 months ago #98164 by JohnShelton47
Replied by JohnShelton47 on topic Re: Strange object
Just saw it there man! Best forum answer ever? Possibly... :-)

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6 years 10 months ago #98166 by Keith g
Replied by Keith g on topic Re: Strange object
Welcome along John :) yes, Dave is right, those iridium flares are impressive alright ;)

Keith.

If a telescope can fit into your backyard it's too small. If you can't move it, it's too big." -- John Dobson

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