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Thread: Extremely bright object moving across the night sky

  1. #1
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    Default Extremely bright object moving across the night sky



    Hello to all!

    I am new here, so first I would like to say, thank you for having me.

    I am not an amateur astronomer, I do not have a telescope, and my knowledge in this field is very limited indeed.
    I can only recognize the most basic heavenly bodies and constellations, Like the moon, mars, venus, orion, the big and small dipper, casiopea...

    So this is the reason I registered: the other night, on may 21 2018, around 23:00h, location: central europe, I have seen an extremely bright object moving across the night sky (the sky was clear), It was moving just like the satellites I see all the time, except that it was as bright as Venus if not brighter. It was mowing from south-west to north-east diagonally across the sky and it literally seemed as if Venus was moving at a constant speed across the sky,just like a satellite. There was no blinking or anything, and after a couple of minutes it crossed the sky and slowly faded into the horizon. I was watching it without any equipment and unfortionatly I didnt have a camera on me at the time. I have never seen anything like it. Let me just say that I have seen plenty of satellites and while some appear brighter than others I have never seen anything so bright moving in the sky, not even remotely as bright, this thing was spectacular.

    Like I said it was as bright as venus, litteraly, but otherwise it behaved and moved just like the satellites I usually see... constant speed and course and as it approached the horizon it slowly started to dim and then disappeared.

    Can someone please tell me what was it that I saw? Was this the international space station? I have no idea, but then again, my knowledge is very limited so I am asking for your help identifying this object. If there is any additional information required, just ask, and I will do my best to provide it. Thank you.

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    Default Re: Extremely bright object moving across the night sky

    Welcome to the forum!

    You really should read this: http://www.astronomyforum.net/conten...i-see-sky.html

    Since it moved at about the same rate as you might expect of a satellite, it was likely a satellite.

    There was an "artist" who was going to put up a satellite designed to be highly reflective and to ruin our night vision. It may be that you saw that. Or it could have been a high-altitude aircraft (possibly with landing lights on). We'll likely never know.

    If you download Stellarium and set it to show your position and to display satellites, then you could set up your view and (if you are lucky) you just might see a satellite tracing the path you saw. But Stellarium will not show all satellites, won't show aircraft, etc.

    Good luck, and keep looking up!

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    Default Re: Extremely bright object moving across the night sky

    My guess would the international space station based on your descriptions.

    As Olecuss mentions, download Stellarium,it's free, and set it to the same date and time to try identify your mystery object.
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    Default Re: Extremely bright object moving across the night sky

    Yes it was

    Here is a list of IIS passes for central Europe. You will have to click of the left arrow to go back to last week, but the 5th pass on the 21st matches up nicely with what you saw.

    https://www.heavens-above.com/PassSu...alt=280&tz=CET

    https://www.heavens-above.com/passde...4839236&type=V

    At the upper right you can modify your location to your exact spot for more accurate results.

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    Default Re: Extremely bright object moving across the night sky

    Thanks for the help guys.

    Now I am quite certain that It was the ISS that I saw the other day. Since I have a rockbottomend laptop with only 32gb of storage downloading stellarium is a no go at the moment. But I did check the links smeyer8015 provided, thanks by the way, and it is spot on, the time and the brightness of ISS passing over my location. The brightness was a whooping -3.9 mag and it sure was impressive, never have I seen anything like it.

    On the web I have also found this article:

    Brighter space station my rival Venus in the night sky (By Joe Rao, Space.com Skywatching Columnist | September 15, 2006 08:24am ET)

    "How bright?
    Before the ISS spread its new pair of gold wings, it was already the brightest of all space vehicles, at times appearing to shine with a brilliance equal to the planet Jupiter.* Now skywatchers should notice the orbiting outpost glowing with an even greater luster.*
    Nobody knows exactly how much brighter it will be, but there's a good chance that it could be brighter than magnitude -3, approaching the glow of Venus, the brightest planet."

    So yeah, it was the ISS. Just as if Venus "her self" was pretty rapidly gliding over the heavens. It really peaked my curiosity, might start looking at the skies more. Cheers.
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    Default Re: Extremely bright object moving across the night sky

    You can find the current ISS position with this: ISSTracker ~ Real-Time Location Tracking of the International Space Station
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    Default Re: Extremely bright object moving across the night sky

    There is also an app in the Google Play store called IIS Detector.



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    Default Re: Extremely bright object moving across the night sky

    Sorry for the late reply, but what you saw sounds just like the International Space Station. Here in the Pacific Northwest of the United States, it first appears in the northwest sky, then disappears in the southeast sky. It's always a joy to see it cross overhead. Google "iss spotter" to get the times when it will pass over you again.

    Chuck

 

 

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