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Please help determine what this streak of light could be !!!!!!


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Anybody have any idea what this could be? my wildlife cam took it sometime between Monday-Friday last week in Calgary, Alberta, Canada outside of the city on a ranch. It appears to come from the Southeast sky and is going Northwest.

I didnt have the date or time set (so the stamp is wrong) . The beam of light is probably about 10 inches wide and if you notice it goes between 2 trees so this is not something right in front of the camera and it was very quick because the pics before and after show nothing. The light seems to pulse also????? any ideas?

:)

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To me it looks like a flying insect. The thickness of the line seems to change cyclically, which could be due to wing-beats. There are about 3 wing-beats (if that is what they are) in this frame. So 3 multiplied by the number of frames per second is the frequency of the beating. Look up what nocturnal insects in your area flap their wings at that frequency. Alternatively, it could be a change in wing-beat amplitude over time with the wing-beats themselves being of a much higher frequency. The other thing it reminds me of is spider silk. I don't know why it would have been captured in this way, however.

How are you estimating the distance of the object and its size? To me it looks rather close to the camera. Certainly doesn't look "astronomical" in origin.

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The streak was approximately 30ft from the camera. If you look the light goes behind the 1st tree. the branch in front of the camera is approx 6ft.

When I zoom in directly on the bright light it is no lnger pixels and solid white

This camera will not pick up motion from insects. The smallest thing that can trigger the camera is ususlly a crow or magpie

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Personally I think it is closer than 30 ft and the effect where it appears to disappear in the trees is from the pulsing that umadog noticed.

It does seem an incredibly straight line for it have been produced by anything being affected by gravity (whether resisting gravity with wing beats or a falling trajectory). To me there seems to be a perspective on the object itself with it coming from close to the top right of frame to in the distance in the bottom left (or vice versa). It almost looks like a beam of light to me except for the pulsing.

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:)

To me it looks like a flying insect. The thickness of the line seems to change cyclically, which could be due to wing-beats. There are about 3 wing-beats (if that is what they are) in this frame. So 3 multiplied by the number of frames per second is the frequency of the beating. Look up what nocturnal insects in your area flap their wings at that frequency. Alternatively, it could be a change in wing-beat amplitude over time with the wing-beats themselves being of a much higher frequency. The other thing it reminds me of is spider silk. I don't know why it would have been captured in this way, however.

How are you estimating the distance of the object and its size? To me it looks rather close to the camera. Certainly doesn't look "astronomical" in origin.

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it looks like a single strand of spider web right in front of the lens.

That was my first thoughts when I saw it.

Was this just on one frame, is there a motion sensor trigger or is the camera set to take an image at a set time period, like once a minute?

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Hmmm interesting. Looks far too straight to be wildlife to me, unless it was something travelling very fast, but superimposing a straight line makes it appear that it's not perfectly straight which would tend to suggest that it's not light...

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its war of the worlds was tom cruise in the woods that night it looks like a laser pointer to me as its arc in up from the left and gets wider to the right,i will wait till its dark tonight and set my cctv cam rolling and play about with the laser pen i have just to see what it looks like

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The motion sensor was set to an instant one exposure on motion detection. There were around 30 pictures before and after this streak appeared.The ranch is surrounded by farm land, all the land behind the light and trees is farmland.

This camera is on my ranch where there are no hunters...plus the hunters would have to be around 100 ft high to shoot a beam of light at this angle I would suspect. This is just outside the city and our city has a flight restriction after midnight so no planes would have been flying above (I do not believe, I am still not sure exactly what time this picture was taken as I did not set the date/date correctly)

I will post the actual pic before I adjusted the contrast (we did this to see if any animals were on the ground in front of the camera) later this afternoon.

Most of the comments seem to be saying this is something directly in front of the camera, however, we can clearly see the beam is directly behind the 1st tree...the pic that the contrast was not adjusted should make this more clear.

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Hmmm interesting. Looks far too straight to be wildlife to me, unless it was something travelling very fast, but superimposing a straight line makes it appear that it's not perfectly straight which would tend to suggest that it's not light...

That would depend to some degree on the camera lens.

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A small object close to the detector will trigger it just as well as a large object further from the detector. The absolute size of the object isn't what's important, surely.

The "beam" looks in front of all the trees to me. I don't understand why you say it is behind any of them.

The second shot is ambiguous. The object could be behind those branches or it could be in front of them. Either way, you don't know that's it's in any way related to the first thing you detected. The proximity in time does suggest that it is, though.

My bet is still flying insect or spider silk. Nothing presented so far refutes either of those propsals.

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Apparently there was a bolide which likely dropped meteorites on the outerwest side of the city on Monday morning at about 4am.

I can only tell you from my experience. This camera will not take pictures of insects...I live on a ranch with many animals so it would be taking a picture every milli second if that was the case. The 24 IR emitters illuminate out 30ft and the tree trunk of the 1st tree is clearly visable to me (I realize others are viewing different) and that is how I am determining size and distance which of course is flawed. I have had the camera for a year and the only pictures it has ever taken are deers,hawks,magpies,pheasants,gophers, coyotes,people,cows, horses, cars, trucks, trailers, farm equipment...there has never been a picture of an insect or a leaf. In addition the burst was set to one which means what ever this was was very very short exposure and quick because the pictures before and after other than the one 2 minutes before show nothing. The astronomer from RAO is coming by to look at the camera and pics...hopefully he can determine

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"we can clearly see the beam is directly behind the 1st tree"

I too am seeing the line IN FRONT of all tree's,I did think of a cobweb strand at first but the wing beating thing sounded better,could either be bats or simular ?

the 2nd pic (to me) looks like its within 30 feet of the camera,but without knowing details of the lens etc its hard to judge a picture taken at night,

If I were you Id set the camera up again and see if you could capture anything else ..

JJ..:)

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I would say out of focus spider silk line. If up close to the lens it would only be a very short piece of silk a few mm in length sitting across the lens. I have seen this sort of effect on my security camera system often. The camera PIR may have a wider field of view than the camera itself so an animal off frame could have triggered the camera.

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I would say out of focus spider silk line. If up close to the lens it would only be a very short piece of silk a few mm in length sitting across the lens.

Except then it would be in subsequent frames wouldn't it?

I think we need to know more about the lens, the exposure, time between frames etc.

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I would agree the line is passing between the trees as the light obstructs those behind in its path, trees in front of the beam also seem obstruct the light path.

Have you by chance tried to determine the point at which the beam would strike the ground, as it appears the beam is traveling out into space from this point and widening as it goes, which would rule out a laser as this would be straight and of uniform thickness. very strange indeed :)

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