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Has anyone seen anything like this before?


StarryEyes
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I found myself looking up to the stars just now, as my dog woke me up to go and have a little trip to the garden!

As I was gazing up I noticed a shooting star (nothing too questionable about that), then I saw another. But then something else caught me attention. I saw a flash, similar to that of the lights of an aircraft, but it just seemed to be too high. I kept watching and could just make out a very faint object moving, which looked like a satellite. But what I then kept seeing doesn't make any sense to me. There were subsequent flashes coming from this object but they were not in a regular rhythm as you would expect from an aircraft and eventually they stopped altogether, before it disappeared out of view over the house. Now I have seen enough satellites in the past to know that they don't flash but have a steady reflection of light, unless there is something that I am unaware of.

Does anyone have any idea what I might have been seeing?

This occurred at 4.15am

I know it's rather unscientific, but I have attached a picture highlighting the area it was in and the rough path it took.

post-10924-0-60532000-1411789504_thumb.j

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If you are showing a bright streak that wasn't arced in a straight line, that was causing it's trail to be "wobbly" - then it could be a hunk of space-junk in orbit (like a satellite that's malfunctioned) that's telemetry is such that it's tumbling and skipping off the upper-atmosphere. It happens.

Do you have a software program that shows where known satellites (including the ISS - or Zarya) are and can give you times when they will be visible? If not, I'll give you a link to a decent one that's free to download and use. Keep it updated:

http://gpredict.oz9aec.net/

Clear Skies,

Dave

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The ISS does not tumble in flight , it does however constantly alter the orientation of it's solar array in order to optimise it's energy gathering and you can often see it glinting as it passes .

The craft also presents itself differently to the viewer as it passes , much the same as any other passing object , and with so many reflecting surfaces to catch the sunlight it's unsurprising that you can see changes , especially through a binocular ...  :smiley:

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