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laser_jock99

Why Don't Astronomers See UFO's ?

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Someone asked me that question today. Personally I have spent hundreds, maybe thousands of hours outside at night, in remote locations or otherwise looking skywards. Either observing, imaging or night fishing and have never seen anything untoward or that couldn't be explained fairly easily.

I guess the same applies to most of here, yet the general populace seem to see them frequently. Or are astronomers in the right place at wrong time? Or do we just know what we're looking at? 

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I've made this point often. It's because there aren't many. Objects that for those who aren't familiar with the night sky night are 'unidentified' are often easily identified by astronomers. Satellites, aircraft, chinese lanterns, meteors, even rocket fuel dumps (which did give me pause, I must say!!!) are all identified by those with experience.

What does that leave? Not much. And a further aspect of experience is that you don't expect to identify every point of light in the sky, just as you don't expect to identify everyone you see in the street in the middle of Birmingham. But that doesn't make them aliens.

Those who want to see alien craft will see them because they want to see them. They do so all the time. A few pints in the Greene Man, step outside, and look, there they are!

Olly

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Also if you note most of these UFO sightings, whether obviously fake or not, are usually over or near large cities. So most of us astronomers are usually stargazing in those locations. Also most the time we are out we have our eye looking through the EP. Now I dont believe in UFOs but at the same time an excuse for us not seeing them is that we arent looking for them. Most UFO hunters arent using telescopes. Theyre using either the naked eye or wide angle lenses.

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I see them all the time.

I don't tell anyone because they don't believe me.  :grin:

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Now you mention it, they've been avoiding me too. I figure they must be a bit photo shy, as sightings have dropped since gadget makers started putting cameras into everything, probably gone home.

I did read somewhere that eleven percent of the population claim to have had some sort of encounter, so that's one heck of a party we're missing, not to mention an air traffic control nightmare.

Perhaps they're avoiding us because they know we'd just bombard them with techie astro questions until they had no choice but to make excuses and leave, "geeez, don't those guys ever thing of anything else!".

Ah well, we live in hope, who knows, tonight could be the night.

Ray 

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I think even we see things that take some thinking about, overactive imaginations notwithstanding, it must be difficult for less knowledgeable sky watchers to understand what they see.

Until recently I could honestly say I'd never seen anything I couldn't explain.

Here is one observation I still can't figure out: http://stargazerslounge.com/topic/229704-unexplained-sighting/

I'm not implying it/they were alien craft. Nor did I wake up with a rash having lost 12 hours of my life. But I am sufficiently confident of my observing skills and astronomical knowledge to be sure it wasn't any of the usual suspects. 

Interestingly, my sighting would probably have not been interesting enough for UFO buffs to notice. Just a couple of misplaced "stars" that faded without discernible movement. No whizzing or flashing or beams of light. Just unidentified. Someone who doesn't know the constellations reasonably well would be hard pressed to have picked it up.

I'd never knock anyone for having an interest in UFO's as a stand alone subject but when they won't accept perfectly reasonable explanations for their observations then it loses credibility.

Edited by Paul M
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Most people do not mean UFO's they mean Flying Saucers.

I suppose we (should) have half an idea of what many things are which others consider Unidentified.

I have seen here an Iridium Flare described as a Supernova.

I suppose NOSS Satellites are amongst the oddest that many people see and cannot fathom.

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Also if you note most of these UFO sightings, whether obviously fake or not, are usually over or near large cities. So most of us astronomers are usually stargazing in those locations. Also most the time we are out we have our eye looking through the EP. Now I dont believe in UFOs but at the same time an excuse for us not seeing them is that we arent looking for them. Most UFO hunters arent using telescopes. Theyre using either the naked eye or wide angle lenses.

I'm impressed by the idea that I'm glued to the eyepiece all the time. I have a terrible confession to make, though, folks. I'm not. Once the autoguiders are doing their thing and the guests are hogging the Dob (terrible things, guests, most unreasonable!!) I tend to sit in my comfy chair recovering from the stresses of IT dominated technology and staring gormlessly up at the sky. Never seen a UFO though.

So if I were a UFO hunter how would I go about it? Binoculars? We know that in September (the earthly climatic cycle being of great importance to aliens who need to refuel on wheat at the end of the harvest season) they tend to fly SE to NW  just after midnight (midnight being very important to aliens because it sounds spooky) so that's where we should look.

Olly

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Do a quick google search and a browse through some of the UFO threads that appear on SGL, astronomers have and do see UFO's, no doubt about it, what they are is another matter and of course the last thing is probably aliens.

Its an interesting subject though, there is a lot of rubbish on tv about it etc but some proper mysteries too, I think pilot cases with radar evidence are some of the most interesting.

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I always ask Ufologists why they think "UFO's" need to have lights on at night.    :smiley:

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I'm impressed by the idea that I'm glued to the eyepiece all the time. I have a terrible confession to make, though, folks. I'm not. Once the autoguiders are doing their thing and the guests are hogging the Dob (terrible things, guests, most unreasonable!!) I tend to sit in my comfy chair recovering from the stresses of IT dominated technology and staring gormlessly up at the sky. Never seen a UFO though. 

So if I were a UFO hunter how would I go about it? Binoculars? We know that in September (the earthly climatic cycle being of great importance to aliens who need to refuel on wheat at the end of the harvest season) they tend to fly SE to NW  just after midnight (midnight being very important to aliens because it sounds spooky) so that's where we should look.

 

Olly

I'm rarely 'glued to the eyepiece' but once the cameras are up and running I stick around outside if conditions are favourable. I like to take in the whole sky or get the bins out, look out for satelites, planes meteors etc.

I might like to add though that not all UFO's are seen at night though.

Edited by laser_jock99

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I once did, it shook me up so bad I had to grab a 2nd bottle of Jack Daniels to calm my nerves.

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Quite often I walk out and exclaim "uuugh"?? There's a weird new star in a familiar constellation. It fades eventually and is a flaring satellite. I am pretty sure we all see standard satellites too all the time. In other words we develop observing skills based around noticing things but I for one never do. Maybe we underestimate how good at it we are and that we see and understand/identify more than the average person?

I am a UFO skeptic too but would, perhaps naively, welcome alien visitors with open arms but fear we will never get the chance.

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I always ask Ufologists why they think "UFO's" need to have lights on at night.    :smiley:

Well there's not much point having the lights on during the day!!! ;-)

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The reason I haven't seen any Flying Saucers or beings from another world isn't due to being into astronomy or stargazing, but simply from the fact that I have never lived in the sticks. Flying saucers and aliens never land or fly over big cities. No, no. It's a golden rule. It's always going to be some backwater in Alabama or Mississipi, dare I say Dyfed, right next to Uncle Bob and his sweetcorn crop. You know, who's puffing there on his cob pipe going, "Yeah, I saw 'em, right over there, I did..." It isn't fair. I mean, which Intergalatic Space Organisation made that silly rule in the first place? No flying over built up areas! No landing in Chicago, Berlin, London or Paris! No landing somewhere where somebody could take a picture of you or try to talk to you! No. It's in the rules :evil5:

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I suppose NOSS Satellites are amongst the oddest that many people see and cannot fathom.

They certainly were for me, and have come up on here a few times.

When I first saw them I'd have described them as a UFO, but a quick question on here turned them confidently into an IFO, which is much less exciting.

But if aliens ever visit, I would like to welcome our new overlords...

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Knowledge, intelligence and common sense go a long way when trying to identify something.

And of course, a little logic ;)

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