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    Retom7's Avatar
    Retom7 is offline White Dwarf
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    Default What was that? Any and all ideas welcome



    Good evening all. First time post, as tonight's sighting was an odd one for me. Just figured I would ask as curiosity got the better of me. I like in Hyde Park, NY, have a reasonably nice view from the home, though street lights in front of my house make it a bit annoying to just gaze sometimes. Anyway, at about 9:35pm EST, I went outside and saw a larger orange/red object in the sky. No blinking lights and it was a fixed object. I have enough planes in the area on a normal night being relatively close to NYC (two hour drive, roughly), but it was not that. Looking from my front door, I'm basically looking straight at Cassiopeia. If that was 12:00, it was roughly at 3:00. It was already bright when I noticed it (much larger and brighter than the other stars in the sky) and lasted a good 10 seconds or so before it faded out and I lost it from my vision. I did see a satellite about 10 minutes later higher in the sky in the same area, so perhaps it was some sort of reflection from the setting sun? I honestly have no idea since it was completely fixed, but I'd be curious if any ideas were out there. Amateur at the most basic levels, and didn't have time to see if my phone camera could pick it up, but it was a neat sight. Anyway, hello and that's my story tonight.

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    Default Re: What was that? Any and all ideas welcome

    Hello Retom7! Welcome to the forum and thanks for joining us!

    What you describe sounds like an Iridium flare: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satellite_flare

    You can check the Heavens-Above website to see if any where scheduled to flare from your locale: Heavens-Above

    I caught Iridium 94 this evening, though it was in the northwest right in between Ursa Minor and Ursa Major, about 26° in altitude. This occurred about 1919 hrs, CDT.

    It is also similar to how a head on meteor appears, though they aren't quite that long in duration.

    Otherwise, there is really no way of knowing what it may have been, certainly nothing celestial. I'll opt for some manner of satellite flare or meteor.

    You can also check AMS to see if there are any reports of a fireball or bright meteor from around your area: American Meteor Society
    Bryan

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