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Unidentified Stationary Object - Help please identify!


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Last night between 9.30 and 10.30pm, a group of us at our Society's Observatory were outside looking for meteors and enjoying a clear sky when we saw in the sky an object, which was to the left of Dracos head, with Vega on its left. It was bright, white, then became brighter than Vega. At first thinking it was a planes headlight shining at us full on, but the object didn't move, even when it dimmed down it wasn't moving, then it became totally invisible. We stood looking for it perhaps a fading satellite to be seen moving away, but nothing! It wasn't like a normal iridium flare, which I have seen many times, we were baffled as to what it could have been. Could it have been something coming straight at us? Which was why it didn't appear to be moving?

It was visible for between 15-20 seconds . No sound.

Any ideas please?

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Sounds very much like an aircraft, I have seen the idential when travelling along the A120 in the morning and they were aircraft heading into Stanstead, or stacked waiting to get into Stanstead.

If stacked they actually fly in a square pattern not really a circular one, the aircraft are told the headings to take and that has to be "squarish", when they get to a "corner" they turn and the lights disappear rapidly.

It is a bit stange as you are looking for whatever to appear but they don't, the ligthts are bright and fairly narrow in beam width. Slightly odder ones are those on a helicopter, especially police ones that hang in one place and "observe", they are often over roads when there has been an accident.

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There are many aircraft passing at this site, but not normally taking that flight path. The fact that we saw nothing moving from a point quite high up looking West seems very strange not to have seen any wing lights as it would have turned. We see many aircraft passing by us, most annoying, when looking up for meteors and planes lights catch you out in the corner of your eye! That's why we are not so sure about a plane theory. Thanks for your thoughts! Perhaps it was a plane! I've just been checking satellites and space debris, can't find anything...

Laser-jock99 - can a balloon shine that brightly? Interesting!

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Laser-jock99 - can a balloon shine that brightly? Interesting!

I have seen (and photographed) a stationary point of light during broad daylight - which I later took to be a balloon. But it must have been bright for me to notice it.

The puzzeling thing about your object is that it must have very high up as most atmospheric objects are well inside the earths shadow at this time of year.

My daylight 'balloon'

plane.jpg

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Interesting photo...wwhat we saw looked to be very high and although I have seen before aeroplanes coming straight on towards me, which look stationary, for quite sometime, they eventually move, by changing direction. It's the first time I've seen one that high just disappear...where I live I constantly see aeroplanes climbing towards me front on but they do keep going !

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A possible flare from one of the Russian Molniya satellites? those orbits are very eccentric and high inclination, which would take them very high above the Northern hemisphere. The USSR used that orbit to allow for satellite communications at high latitudes where geostationary satellites are of little use.

It's certainly conceivable that a satellite in that orbit could flare from a comms panel or solar panel. Certainly worth a look through the satellite websites to see if there were any at that stage. 

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