View Full Version : Bright Light in the sky???


*stRgrL*
11-07-01, 05:37 PM
I have been a star gazer for the majority of my life. I have seen this peculiar light 4 different times in my life. The first one looked just like a star floating across the sky. Finally it faded and disapeared. The last 3 I have seen in the past year. They look like a star, then they get really bright, then they dim and float off and disapear. Now I know I am not crazy and I'm not the only one who has seen this. Does anyone out there have a theory or perhaps an explanation. Someone suggested it was a satellite. (?????) I've always been curious. Thanx

Mr. G
11-07-01, 07:09 PM
Hi,

Please provide more visually descriptive information, as well as date, time, direction, sky altitude info.

Were this a murder mystery it would never get solved on the information initially provided. ;)

*stRgrL*
11-08-01, 06:27 PM
Okay, I cant really estimate the altitude, but it look EXACTLY like a star. It moves like an airplane, but then it fades out. Sometimes it gets really bright then fades. Im sorry I cant really describe anymore. But do satellites look like stars?? Thanks for trying to help:)

Porfiry
11-08-01, 06:45 PM
In my experience, satellites do generally look like stars. And, I suspect the ISS is probably rather bright as well.

The dimming of the object is probably a result of the satellite moving into the Earth's shadow.

John Devers
11-08-01, 07:16 PM
I think the ISS is the 4th brightest object in the sky at the moment. Soon when extra pieces are added it will rival Venus.

In the mean time here are some other types of lights in the sky.

<A HREF="http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/lib/aptree.html" target=new><FONT COLOR=Lime size=+1> APOD

</FONT></A>

sunpillar



<img src="http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/image/0111/sunpillar_kirkpatrick.jpg">



anticrepuscular rays


<img src="http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/image/0110/anticrepuscular_britton.jpg">

aurora


<img src="http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/image/0111/aurorawinnipeg_majko.jpg">

Pollux V
11-09-01, 07:01 AM
I'd need to find myself a new package of depends if I ever saw any of those up close (except for the auroras).

wet1
11-09-01, 09:29 AM
Satellites will usually follow an east to west path. They move rather quickly takeing only a few minutes to traverse the sky. Mostly, as Porfirey mentioned they are brighter than the stars in magnitude. The majority of the time you can distinglish the satellites from aircraft because the aircraft will have navagation beacons, meaning that some lights will flash.

*stRgrL*
11-09-01, 01:15 PM
Well thanks guys for taking the time out to share your thoughts. Really appreciate it. Im almost convinced they were satellites.:)

Boris2
11-10-01, 06:23 AM
Could also be pranksters using a garbage bag with a heat source under to make a hot air ballon.

cygnusco24
11-16-01, 11:01 AM
my best guess would be one of the iridium satellites which are said to "flare" at certain times based on sun angles and such, you can search the web and find tracking data on these birds. hope this helps

Fukushi
09-06-05, 06:39 PM
Can't you tell how high up in the sky approx?

Maby it's a heli using it's searchlight, I've seen that too, it seems exactely like that what you're saying.

btwidoknowaboutthelightsintheskybutIdon'twanttoups etanyoneheresincetheymostlikelywilldeclaremeinsane onthespot

Pete
09-06-05, 07:13 PM
I'd put good odds on Iridium flares.

*stRgrL*, here's how to find out for sure:

Go to Heavens-Above.com (www.heavens-above.com)
Select your location from their database
Click on "next 7 days" under "Iridium Flares"
Pick a nice bright one from the list. (More negative magnitudes are brighter. The brightest Iridium flares peak at about -8.) Note the time and position.
Go outside at the appropriate time and look in the appropriate direction. See if you see the same as what you saw before.
Come back here and tell us about it!

I hope this helps!

Pete

blobrana
09-06-05, 07:20 PM
Hum,
The moral of the story here is that it is important to get the time and date so that you can work out what was in the sky at the time….

Anyway, it’s pointless now,
As he must surly have been abducted by his UFO by now...

Pete
09-06-05, 09:08 PM
Ack!
I should have looked at the OP date before posting.

Oh well...

Communist Hamster
09-07-05, 09:34 AM
OMG major bumpage.

Well at least I know about anticrepuscular rays now.

abyssoft
09-08-05, 05:12 AM
I think the object in question, at least from the base description given, can be located by following Orion's arrow. From where I am it become visable around 5 am. It is rather bright and can be seen right up until the sun crests the horizon. it twinkles which if I remember correctly indicates it is a stellar object verses planet or satellite. Identification of this object would be most interesting.

blobrana
09-08-05, 07:23 PM
This is how to Report what you saw:

<b>00)</b> Your name?
<b>01)</b> Your Town/region/Country?
<b>02)</b> Date and Time?
<b>03)</b> What compass direction did the object appear from? <i>e.g. south</i>
<b>04)</b> What compass direction did the object disappear to? <i>e.g. north</i>
<b>05)</b> How long, in seconds, were you able to see it in the sky?
<b>06)</b> How many degrees off the horizon was it when it appeared?
(<i>eg, a closed fist at arm's length is 10 degrees</i>)
<b>07)</b> How many degrees off the horizon was it when it disappeared?
<b>08)</b> How bright was it? (<i>star, Venus, Moon</i>)
<b>09)</b> Did you see any colour(s)?
<b>10)</b> Did it split apart? What did that look like?
<b>11)</b> Did it leave a trail in the sky after it was gone? How long did that last?
<b>12)</b> How fast did it move?
<b>13)</b> Did you hear a sound? Was there a time delay from sighting to sound?
<b>14)</b> What is the closest Town/city when you saw the object?
<b>15)</b> Additional remarks, drawings, photos?



<i>Have i forgot anything?</i>
<i>Have i lost an hour?</i>

abyssoft
09-09-05, 05:51 AM
George Weilenmann
Garland Texas USA
Can be seen from 0515-0640 CDT Ongoing noticed object initially on approx. 8/29/05
Rises Slightly to the south of Sun.
Object Dissappears as the the sun crests.
Object does not fade until sunrise
It is brighter then Mars and at least as bright as venus(Juptiter and Venus are Elimintated as candidates as they appear near the terminating horizon as sunset mars is at the zenith when object rises)

Color is variable mostly blue and white with occassional twinkles towards red and infrequent greens.

object remains in tact.

no trail/tail is present. Appears not to have planetary motion Remains in constant relational position to the constellation Orion.
Dallas is the largest Major Metro area.

object is 13 deg from Orions arrow and 21 degrees from his head.

TruthSeeker
09-10-05, 12:14 AM
I have been a star gazer for the majority of my life. I have seen this peculiar light 4 different times in my life. The first one looked just like a star floating across the sky. Finally it faded and disapeared. The last 3 I have seen in the past year. They look like a star, then they get really bright, then they dim and float off and disapear. Now I know I am not crazy and I'm not the only one who has seen this. Does anyone out there have a theory or perhaps an explanation. Someone suggested it was a satellite. (?????) I've always been curious. Thanx
You just experienced an UFO :eek:
(not necessarily aliens)
How fast it moved?

Oh wait. Is *stRgrL* still around? :bugeye:

Yaba Daba :m:

*stRgrL*
09-29-06, 07:57 PM
LOL... I am still around... sorta. Anyhoo... since I have first posted this, I believe around 2 or 3 years ago, I have seen dozens more. They move like airplanes, because most of the times that is what I think they are, until they fade out and disappear. I DO live by an Air Base but I seriously doubt they are anysort of airplanes. They look like they're floating, they don't blink, they look like stars and then they disappear. Everytime I see one with someone else they totally freak out. I think or thought they were satellites but know I am starting to wonder. Anyways, thanks for everyone trying to figure this shit out for me:)

*stRgrL*
09-29-06, 07:58 PM
Damn! I really didn't realize it had been a whole 5 years since I've posted this question!!!!

P. BOOM!
10-02-06, 05:11 PM
Sounds to me like an Iridium Flare. The Iridium satellites were launched in the 90s to create a global satellite phone network. They tend to be very variable in brightness, and can get VERY bright. There is a website that predicts these flares....http://www.heavens-above.com/

P. BOOM!
10-03-06, 12:41 PM
Damn! I really didn't realize it had been a whole 5 years since I've posted this question!!!!

So did you visit that website that I and others mentioned? I am 99% sure these are Iridium Flares that you are seeing. It is great fun to go to that website, get the predictions, and go see the show. You just have to register with the website, and put in your location as precisely as possible. Then the website predicts the flares according to location, and it estimates the position, timing, and brightness. As far as brightness goes, the lower the number the better. For example, a -8 would be better than -6.

*stRgrL*
10-06-06, 03:22 PM
Hey P. Boom! Thanks for all of that info. I did register on that one site that you provided. The thing is, I googled 'iridium flares' and the pics that popped up looked more like streaks across the sky, not like stars. But! I'm going to check upcoming flares and see if it is indeed what I've been seeing. I'll keep ya posted:D Hey did you know you can see those flares in the daylight too? Neato!

Thanks again!!!

tablariddim
10-06-06, 03:57 PM
Maybe it's ball lightning?

Pete
10-06-06, 06:03 PM
Hey P. Boom! Thanks for all of that info. I did register on that one site that you provided. The thing is, I googled 'iridium flares' and the pics that popped up looked more like streaks across the sky, not like stars. But! I'm going to check upcoming flares and see if it is indeed what I've been seeing. I'll keep ya posted:D Hey did you know you can see those flares in the daylight too? Neato!

Thanks again!!!
The photos of iridium flares you find online are long exposures. They photograph as streaks becuse thye move during exposure. When you see them, they look like stars.

CANGAS
10-09-06, 11:19 PM
Basic facts can sometimes be crucial.

Satelites perform a STRAIGHT path across the sky. Do your lights curve at all?

Satelites perform extremely uniform speed in their traverse of the sky. Do your lights seem to vary their speed?

I have observed satelites which varied in brightness. I have assumed that it was ( partly ) due to a rotating satelite having a dark side and a bright side.

Megabrain
10-22-06, 09:41 AM
I have been a star gazer for the majority of my life. I have seen this peculiar light 4 different times in my life. The first one looked just like a star floating across the sky. Finally it faded and disapeared. The last 3 I have seen in the past year. They look like a star, then they get really bright, then they dim and float off and disapear. Now I know I am not crazy and I'm not the only one who has seen this. Does anyone out there have a theory or perhaps an explanation. Someone suggested it was a satellite. (?????) I've always been curious. Thanx

Look up 'iridium satellites' then please try and find something more exciting to discuss... yawn....

*stRgrL*
10-25-06, 01:16 PM
Pete:
You know I was thinking the same thing after I typed my last post.


Gangas:
The majority of them have been straight which leads me to believe they are satellites but a few of them curved.... wierd....

Megabrain:
Noone is making you read my posts. If your so bored, don't read it! DOI! YAWNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN

Megabrain
10-25-06, 04:59 PM
I just thought if you'd been a star gazer all your life and could not identify an iridium satellite the stars you have been gazing at were probably in Hello Magazine.

CANGAS
10-26-06, 02:10 AM
Pete:
You know I was thinking the same thing after I typed my last post.


Gangas:
The majority of them have been straight which leads me to believe they are satellites but a few of them curved.... wierd....

Megabrain:
Noone is making you read my posts. If your so bored, don't read it! DOI! YAWNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN



Those exhibiting curved paths have made it through the first cut. Do any of the curved sightings show up on any kind of regular basis: every night, every tenth night, every 38th night, or any repeating interval? Place no significance on the numbers I used as examples of intervals.

And, is there any repetition in the direction of their curve? Do they repeat going West then curving to the North, or some such?

Do they first go straight then curve? Or first go curved then straighten up?

One of the important first steps to analyze any problem is to try to discover a pattern if there is one. And it can be important also to discover that there is not a pattern.

britepixel
08-01-11, 08:31 PM
I don't know if this is the same thing, but what I saw last night REALLY freaked me out. it was up in the sky and i thought it was Jupiter.. and it would get really bright and then dim almost completely.. it did this for more than an hour. I woke up around 4 am last night and looked out my window facing east. I saw the "object" and thought that looks really bright then watched in amazement as it dimmed again completely. It kept coming back and then going away. At one point i thought i saw it move, not in a straight line but down like it was coming to earth then it would stop. I think it moving was just my mind playing tricks on me because everytime I walked away and came back it was in the same spot. What is this mysterious object!

origin
08-02-11, 07:13 AM
I don't know if this is the same thing, but what I saw last night REALLY freaked me out. it was up in the sky and i thought it was Jupiter.. and it would get really bright and then dim almost completely.. it did this for more than an hour. I woke up around 4 am last night and looked out my window facing east. I saw the "object" and thought that looks really bright then watched in amazement as it dimmed again completely. It kept coming back and then going away. At one point i thought i saw it move, not in a straight line but down like it was coming to earth then it would stop. I think it moving was just my mind playing tricks on me because everytime I walked away and came back it was in the same spot. What is this mysterious object!

What is your approximate location and the date and times you observed the object. How many degrees above the horizon was the object and in which direction were you observing (S, SW, etc).

britepixel
08-03-11, 01:50 AM
Aug 1. approx between 40 and 50 degrees above horizon. facing east, LAT/LONG = 35.475171,-120.651951 and I was seeing it from about 3:30 am to at least 4:30am it was still there when i would look i just got freaked out so i stopped looking at it.

Pete
08-03-11, 03:51 AM
Were you outdoors?
Were you moving around, or did you see it from the same place each time?
How frequent and regular was the brightening and dimming?

britepixel
08-04-11, 01:12 AM
No i was laying in bed when i first saw it, I eventually got up and was standing looking out my window. It would take about 30 seconds for it to go from extremely bright to completely dim and vice versa. At one point I went outside that's when I thought i saw it move, it was probably my mind playing tricks on me because when i went back to my room it appeared to be in the exact same spot. I was also freaking out a little bit so i think my mind was a little bit crazy. But I know that it was for sure dimming and getting bright like i said and it was like nothing I've ever seen (btw I don't do drugs lol) It did this for about an hour and at that point i stopped looking at it, it didn't seem like it was going to stop anytime soon.

britepixel
08-04-11, 03:48 AM
also I have google sky map on my phone and it was showing up as jupiter i think... but it was hard to tell.... it was definently the biggest and brightest light in the night sky. It was also completely clear out with great visibility

britepixel
08-08-11, 12:36 AM
nothing? :(

Pete
08-08-11, 05:08 AM
Nothing. I thought maybe a reflection off your window, but you went outside.

The way it seemed to move when you went outside might suggest it was closer than it seemed.

origin
08-08-11, 09:42 AM
also I have google sky map on my phone and it was showing up as jupiter i think... but it was hard to tell.... it was definently the biggest and brightest light in the night sky. It was also completely clear out with great visibility

It was problaby Jupiter as you said that is about in the right position. Even on clear nights there can be alot of atmospheric turbulence and temperature changes. These cause the so called twinkling. Looking at a star and planet with the naked eyes for any length of time can result in the objects apprearing to move around, vibrate, and dissapear (only to reapear when your eyes are diverted).

So that would be my best guess at what you saw.

Pete
08-08-11, 09:16 PM
If it was Jupiter I think its position change over an hour would have been pretty noticeable... and the smooth, slow brightening and fading pattern doesn't fit atmospheric turbulence.

Thinking more... California (right?), 3:30am (Pacific Daylight Savings Time?), facing East. Too early for reflection from a high altitude balloon? Would you get that bright a reflection from the balloon or its cargo, with that much variation if it was turning slowly?

Pete
08-08-11, 09:50 PM
Back of the envelope geometry says that an object would have to be about 1000km high to be sunlit then (about 0.1 days before sunrise).

Considering refraction... for a high balloon (say 30km) to be sunlit then would require a total of maybe 35 degrees of refraction more than you get on the ground, through maybe 4 thousand kilometres of atmosphere. I've no idea if that's reasonable.

origin
08-09-11, 07:28 AM
If it was Jupiter I think its position change over an hour would have been pretty noticeable... and the smooth, slow brightening and fading pattern doesn't fit atmospheric turbulence.

Over the course of an hour the position of Jupiter would not change with respect to the background stars of course the whole star field would move. The brighting and fading would be more of an affect of looking at stellar type object for an extended period of time. There could also be thin clouds.


hinking more... California (right?), 3:30am (Pacific Daylight Savings Time?), facing East. Too early for reflection from a high altitude balloon? Would you get that bright a reflection from the balloon or its cargo, with that much variation if it was turning slowly?

I think if there was a reflection it would be opposite direction (towards the east). If it was a high altitude baloon it certainly would have changed position in an hour.

I still favor that it was Jupiter.

Coffeemaster
08-24-11, 02:49 AM
I saw such a light last night at about 11pm. I couldn't tell how high it was, but the brilliance of the light made me think it was fairly close, about 300m. This could be just an effect of the bright light. It travelled over me from south west and moved in a zig zag every so often. The brightness remained until it stopped in the east and then dimmed slowly. It seemed to turn dull red before disappearing. The object took a total of 2mins to travel from the west until its position in the east. I went in the house. An hour later I looked outside my bedroom window, my window is open so I'm not looking through glass, and there it reappeared. It would turn on to a brilliant white and then slowly dim down and diasapear. At times it would slightly dim and then become bright. I told others in the house and we went out to look at it. It continued to do what it does. The others would continue telling me it's a satellite. It then quickly travelled a short distance up and disappeared. I went to bed, but the others watched it, even though they maintained it was a satellite. This occurred near Krakow, Poland from 11pm last night.

origin
08-24-11, 10:44 AM
I saw such a light last night at about 11pm. I couldn't tell how high it was, but the brilliance of the light made me think it was fairly close, about 300m. This could be just an effect of the bright light. It travelled over me from south west and moved in a zig zag every so often. The brightness remained until it stopped in the east and then dimmed slowly. It seemed to turn dull red before disappearing. The object took a total of 2mins to travel from the west until its position in the east. I went in the house. An hour later I looked outside my bedroom window, my window is open so I'm not looking through glass, and there it reappeared. It would turn on to a brilliant white and then slowly dim down and diasapear. At times it would slightly dim and then become bright. I told others in the house and we went out to look at it. It continued to do what it does. The others would continue telling me it's a satellite. It then quickly travelled a short distance up and disappeared. I went to bed, but the others watched it, even though they maintained it was a satellite. This occurred near Krakow, Poland from 11pm last night.

Based on the times and direction you gave it sounds like you saw the ISS. It is very impressive. Here is a link to determine when the ISS is passing over. (http://www.heavens-above.com/allpass1sat.asp?lat=53.33087&lng=21.79688&alt=0&loc=bob&TZ=CET&satid=25544&Date=40768.9166666667&Mag=)

Coffeemaster
08-24-11, 01:46 PM
Thanks so much for that, and for the link. Its given me a prompt closure on the matter. I will use the timetable to view it again. I never knew the ISS could look so brilliant from the ground. Appreciate your help

origin
08-24-11, 02:07 PM
Thanks so much for that, and for the link. Its given me a prompt closure on the matter. I will use the timetable to view it again. I never knew the ISS could look so brilliant from the ground. Appreciate your help

Glad to help. On that site there is also a section on iridum flares, which is just a reflective flash from a solar panel, but it is very bright and dramatic. You can use that info to freak out your friends. Something like, take them out side and a few seconds before the flash occurs say, "doesn't orion look impressive tonight?" and when they look up and see the flash watch the different reactions - oh joy!;):D

Coffeemaster
08-24-11, 02:53 PM
Yep, it definitely was the ISS. Thanks to the link you gave me to the ISS timetable, I was able to ready myself for a viewing.

origin
08-24-11, 06:14 PM
Yep, it definitely was the ISS. Thanks to the link you gave me to the ISS timetable, I was able to ready myself for a viewing.

Great!

suzystargazer
06-21-12, 01:13 PM
We've seen a bright light just to the east of the big dipper almost every night around 11:00. It gets very bright, enough so to really catch your attention, then dims and moves away and disappears. I live in Kansas and we were in Colorado last week and all of us saw it two nights in a row, 750+ miles away. Glad to see that others have seen it. Does anyone know what it is?

Cyperium
06-21-12, 03:46 PM
I have been a star gazer for the majority of my life. I have seen this peculiar light 4 different times in my life. The first one looked just like a star floating across the sky. Finally it faded and disapeared. The last 3 I have seen in the past year. They look like a star, then they get really bright, then they dim and float off and disapear. Now I know I am not crazy and I'm not the only one who has seen this. Does anyone out there have a theory or perhaps an explanation. Someone suggested it was a satellite. (?????) I've always been curious. ThanxI've seen this two times myself. It's exactly as you describe, it moves slowly (well, fast for being so far away) and turns really bright (like a raycaster up there) and then fades away and disappears.

I thought it was a falling star or something, most come in a angle but if they come in a angle nearly straight at you then that might be what it looks like?

I live in Sweden, we have very dark winters and I think the time was close to midnight on both accounts. No clouds present either from what I can recall.

ami6989
10-05-12, 03:44 PM
I was on a night shift last Tuesday, it was about 5.30am. In the south east sky there was a really bright star, only this 'star' was glowing bright, then dimming and disappearing completely! I watched it for about an hour on and off doing this over and over again. As it got lighter the other star disappeared into the morning sky but this glowing ball was still there! As bright as ever! About 10 minutes later I witnessed the star fade away as the other stars had done, it was so strange! May I add, there were no noises to suggest it could of been a helicopter/aircraft. I also took pictures and videos. Does anyone know what this could be?

bburch88
03-30-14, 04:57 PM
I saw the same thing last night at 10 pm in west texas. A very bright starlike light in the north that suddenlly dimmed to nothing. It didn't appear to move. I went inside an shared the experience with all the folks but didn't go back out to see if it re-appeared.

Fraggle Rocker
03-31-14, 01:32 PM
Rocks 1000ft (300m) in diameter pass within 2 million miles (3M km) of the earth at 27,000mph (43,000 kph) a couple of times a year. Occasionally one comes closer. A smaller one going that fast might burn up in the atmosphere before it hits the planet. But it would sure make a bright light. (Washington Post, Feb 2014)

Walter L. Wagner
03-31-14, 06:11 PM
I saw the same thing last night at 10 pm in west texas. A very bright starlike light in the north that suddenlly dimmed to nothing. It didn't appear to move. I went inside an shared the experience with all the folks but didn't go back out to see if it re-appeared.

While driving south on I-15 about 9 pm (10 pm texas) in Utah, I saw a bright light moving south at very high speed; it then suddendly disappeared. I believe it was a large meteorite.

billvon
03-31-14, 07:50 PM
I saw the same thing last night at 10 pm in west texas. A very bright starlike light in the north that suddenlly dimmed to nothing.

If it started out bright, became reddish, then dimmed to nothing, that is almost certainly a satellite. That's exactly what they look like.

Russ_Watters
03-31-14, 10:51 PM
Bright points of light are among the most common UFOs. And the most common things they typically are are (in no particular order):
-Venus
-Jupiter
-Airplanes
-The International Space Station
-Iridium satellites
-Meteors

bburch88
04-02-14, 09:40 AM
It could have been a satelite I guess but it wasn't moving. The light appeared to diminish from the outside towards the middle slowly and no reddish hue at all. I watch the skies regularly and have never seen anything like this before. Definitely not a planet or meteor or airplane.

elte
04-02-14, 11:11 AM
Maybe small thin clouds were passing between the celestial object and the observer in some of these cases.

abraphanpy
04-08-14, 05:31 PM
YES !!!!!.. i'v seen these alot , i live in the UK , iv seen multiples of them all over the sky from my back garden. The first time i noticed them was last summer ,when we were out watching the shooting stars from the astroid belt we had heard was happening all that week. But these floating star like things well, i first thought they were those chinese lanterns, but they are way too high up to be that. They are so high up I think they are higher than some of the near stars we have seen.. I saw one this evening at around 11pm which is what jogged my memory back to last summer when my son & I sat out looking up at the shooting stars and I was freaked when i saw the first one moving, then after a while i saw another , then another .. my son soon started seeing them too.. I must have seen 20 in the space of 2 hrs that night. They dont stay in a straight line they seem to move in a slightly wavy line sometimes but straight for a 5 or so seconds as if they are floating on a breeze ( which is why i thought at first maybe a lantern) but who would let lanterns off at 3-5am?? and surely they cant go that high up..?? I dont know what they are but they arnt stars or satalites im pretty sure of that.