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ravenxmiyagi

Strange Green Light Seen Over East Sussex

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Hi,

I am new to this forum, and certainly not an experienced astronomer at all. However while I was out in Herstmonceux, East Sussex during the 2016 Perseid meteor shower on the 12th of August 2016 at around 1am, I saw something pretty strange in the sky.  As I was lying on my back looking up at the sky I noticed a small green point of light in the sky, about the size of an average star. It was moving around the sky, it looked slow but given its (supposed) distance I would say it was actually moving incredibly quickly. It couldn't have been a plane as it was a single, tiny point of light changing direction quickly. 

 

I live very close to the Greenwich observatory in Herstmonceux, East Sussex and I see their green lasers pointing out at the sky regularly between 8pm and 12pm usually and this also wasn't it as there was no beam, literally just a single point of bright green light moving amongst the stars.

 

I have absolutely no idea what this could be, but I would love to hear peoples opinions or thoughts on what it could potentially be, or if anyone has seen anything like it before.  

Edited by ravenxmiyagi
needed to add a word
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Hi and welcome to SGL, you will see all sorts of unexplained astro objects if you look up long enough, usually satellites.

Could have been a laser pointer I suppose.

Dave

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Hi Dave,

 

Thanks for your reply, and getting back to me so quickly. Would it be likely to be a satellite given that it was changing direction and not merely tracking across the sky? 

 

Also saw the ISS a couple times that night and it didn't behave anything like that. 

 

And would I have been able to see the pointer against the night sky do you think, just because it was a perfectly clear night?

 

Thanks,

George

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One of the "worst" objects are Chinese Lanterns. Saw one once and it bounced all over the place very quick, and it looked as if a large distance away, as in a few miles. Wasn't until I picked up a set of binoculars that the thing became apparent. Without the binoculars it still looked to be further away then it was, and so the apparent speed looked huge. They basically get caught is air currents.

Suppose it could have been one that was green, no reason to be white or orange.

Anyone holdong a fete and releasing helium balloons ? Nice green metallic one would give the same appearance.

Distance seems odd, the eye can be strange on how it interprets distance. Try looking at Vega just as it gets darkish. Some people see it others cannot. The eye tends to "focus" not at infinity until it locks on to an object, So to some people their eye can be looking at Vega but it is out of focus and so not a sharp image and just not seen. Makes sense in a way as our eyes were for spotting things likely to leap out and make us their evening lunch. But eye's are generall interesting items. Weird at times however.

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I suppose it could have been something like this, would really surprise me given its motion and constant unchanging light. It was also very late at night. Wish I'd had some binoculars or something so that I could have had a better look. Thank you for your reply.

 

Cheers,

George

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These days there are plenty of things up there to cause confusion. I once got caught out by a triangle of red lights doing incredible acrobatics at night. Once I put binoculars on it, it was clear it was a remote control plane! It could have been a drone perhaps? 

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When you cannot be sure of the distance you cannot be sure of the real speed of movement. If your brain has convinced itself that the object is distant then it will be very hard to dislodge that notion and you will therefore greatly overestimate its speed. If you are intentionally out looking at the stars you may well be predisposed to think in terms of long distances. Something much, much closer moving much more slowly would be my guess. A drone seems highly possible.

I don't offer this as an explanation but just as an example of how our eyes deceive us. I'm out all night regularly since I run an astronomy guest house and recently I noticed a slowly moving light near to where I would have expected to see Capella. My view was limited by the house and a tree at this point. The light was moving randomly and quite slowly but I was sure it was moving about. I kept my eye on it and moved to more open ground. As I did so the movement diminished and finally stopped altogether and I was simply looking at Capella. Why the impression of movement? I don't know, but the limited field of view and possibly motion in the tree branches had created it.

Olly

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Hi,  and welcome to SGL.  As already stated in an above post,  strange lights in the sky are reported by members on numerous occasions,  all are WA ting answers as to what is they saw at that particular time.   Frequent culprits are,  as mentioned,  Chinese Lanterns,  which more and more are being used to celebrate various things, Like Birthdays,  A wedding   anniversary,  or some other personal  but not able event.     Laser posters are another means to project light into the sky,  and as we know,  this practice can at times be a danger to aircraft,  and as such,  frowned upon by most,  including air safety authorities.    Drones too are a new addition to the inhabitants of the sky,  but whether they would fly at night,  would be doubtful,  although if one did so,  and  fitted with multi course Led lights,  could well fit the description you have given of the behavior.    I will end by offering my opinion on what it wasn't,  even though it might offend some.  Although I believe the majority will agree,  that what you saw,  was Not an Alien spaceship. 

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54 minutes ago, barkis said:

Drones too are a new addition to the inhabitants of the sky,  but whether they would fly at night,  would be doubtfully,  although if one did so,  and  fitted with multi course Led lights,  could well fit the description you have given of the behavior.

We have no real idea what it was the OP was seeing (for sure man made though), but just thought it best to mention ...

LED lit drones/multi-rotors/rc-planes are flown at night more often than you think. And more often than not to deliberatly excite the "less well informed" shall we say.

"Tip of the ice berg" as it were

 

Edited by Pippy
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Thank you all for your ideas/comments. I am sure it was just some sort of eye trickery that I saw, was very strange to see at the time however! @Pippy I don't really know what I would have liked it to be, possibly some kind of insanely rare celestial event would  have been nice!! At no time did I entertain the notion that little green men were aboard it though!! ;)

 

Thanks again to everyone! And if anyone has any other ideas, I'd love to hear them!

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6 hours ago, Pippy said:

Raven .. What would you like it too be ?

I'm not sure I understand what you mean cath? I assume Raven is just after an explanation as to what he saw

 

 

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