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Thread: Super Nova or a Flashbulb ?

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    rick-n-ns's Avatar
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    Default Super Nova or a Flashbulb ?



    Yep I'm new, first post and all, but am quite used to forums in general, been on a metal detecting forum for 9 years.

    Anyway Last night, Jan. 18 2017, I saw something I never saw before. I would describe it as an old camera's flashbulb going off in the sky. I do tend to look up when I go outside for a smoke, and I admit to knowing next to nothing about astronomy, but this was unusual for sure. It actually made me a bit excited, and I was smart enough to write down the details, at least what I thought was important.

    1) An eyeball sighting;
    2)At approximately 9:45 PM Atlantic time.
    3) Approximately 292 degrees NW (from near Kentville, Nova Scotia)
    4)The "flash" lasted maybe a half of a second.
    5) The size of the "explosion ?" was about a hand width at arms length.

    I was thinking with all the telescopes pointed at the sky that someone else must have saw it ? And if it was a super nova (which I have no idea what it was) that it may even be on the news today.

    Anyway I am in hopes that someone else did see it, maybe even recorded.

    Thanks,
    I hope I don't have a new addiction.

    Rick

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    Default Re: Super Nova or a Flashbulb ?

    why is my thread formatted so weird ?
    PLease help.

    Rick

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    Default Re: Super Nova or a Flashbulb ?

    Welcome to the forum. What you observed is called an Iridium Flare. They are really cool and there are many apps available to track them. It is caused by the reflection of the sun's light off an iridium satellites solar panels.
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    Default Re: Super Nova or a Flashbulb ?

    A supernova lasts several years though it is only really bright for a week or two..... but not 1/2 a second.
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    Default Re: Super Nova or a Flashbulb ?

    I would also suspect an iridium satellite. If you would like to check you can try looking on Heavens-Above a website that tracks satellites.
    Your posts will look a bit strange until you get more than 5 posts
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    Default Re: Super Nova or a Flashbulb ?

    Dang, I missed it by a few minutes. I was driving home near Kentville last night. But I was home by 9:35.

    Probably an Iridium flare, as others have noted. It certainly was not a supernova, or we'd all be out there tonight looking at it. A supernova not only lasts weeks or months, it is no bigger than a star.

    An Iridium flare is also starlike, but it moves. If you saw it with peripheral vision and if it was over before you got your foveal vision onto it, it could look like it has a size.

    A meteor can appear as a line. It is actually a moving dot, but it moves much faster than an Iridium satellite.

    It could also have been an aircraft. An aircraft with its landing lights on, especially if it was in a turn and the lights only briefly pointed your direction, could look like a flash of light. The Air Force flies out of CFB Greenwood and frequently do night training or operations. Every aircraft flying between eastern North America and Europe flies over Nova Scotia, and you could have seen one of their strobes.

    You might want to check out this thread: READ Before Posting a "What Did I See?" Thread
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    Default Re: Super Nova or a Flashbulb ?

    Quote Originally Posted by rick-n-ns View Post
    why is my thread formatted so weird ?
    PLease help.

    Rick
    Hi Rick,

    Everything that you've posted looks fine to me. No format problems at all.

    smp
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    Default Re: Super Nova or a Flashbulb ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pitter View Post
    Welcome to the forum. What you observed is called an Iridium Flare. They are really cool and there are many apps available to track them. It is caused by the reflection of the sun's light off an iridium satellites solar panels.
    Thank you mr. Pitter, that is what the one reply was on that other forum. But since it had so little activity, I wanted a second opinion.
    Got to say am pretty happy with the responce here. (sp chek that)

    Rick
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    Default Re: Super Nova or a Flashbulb ?

    Quote Originally Posted by jenniferchristine View Post
    A supernova lasts several years though it is only really bright for a week or two..... but not 1/2 a second.
    Yes, as I am a complete newby I jumped to the wrong conclusion, they all do it in the metal detecting circles too.
    I realize after a couple minutes of research that it was not a super nova.

    Thank you very much for the reply though.
    I am not so arrogant that I can't learn, and I will.
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    Default Re: Super Nova or a Flashbulb ?

    Quote Originally Posted by spereira View Post
    Hi Rick,

    Everything that you've posted looks fine to me. No format problems at all.

    smp
    Its something that happens to 'new' posters. It goes away after 4 or 5 posts I think. No idea why.

    Yes almost certainly that was a flare. He described it perfectly "Poof" its an amazing sight.
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