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Last night (18 Oct) at 9.45pm local time from Lat 44 (SE France) we saw an extraordinary sight. Seriously extraordinary! The sky was very clear and we were settling in to observe and image - 4 of us including a retired professional astronomer. The sky was very clear, around mag 5.5 or even 6 when a huge soft glow appeared in the south at an elevation of around 50 degrees. It also had a vast halo around it of about 35 degrees . It moved smoothly north west over a couple of minutes and fell below the horizon. It was preceeded in its trajectory by a smaller soft glow.

Now what was particularly weird was the diffusion of the glow because the sky was so clear. two Satellites, perhaps, but how odd that there was enough high moisture to diffuse the light on so clear seeming a night. The glow was extremely bright and yet diffused rather like a large comet.

Any ideas? I'm not at all given to fancy while observing but it was downright astounding. We had time to ring a neighbour in the village and get her out to see it.


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