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This may sound a little dumb........


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Depends on what you mean by disappear.

I'm assuming you are not referring to cloud obscuration, but that is a cause obviously.

There are such things as flare stars, which brighten from below visible magnitude, to visibility, and some are predictable, and some not. There are variables too, which also rise and fall in brightness, due to various causes. Some breathe in and out, and their size and brightness varies accordingly. Some are occulted by companion stars, which also affect their magnitude.

So, in general, I would have to say yes, they can disappear, but if you have experienced such an event, you have to investigate the reason for it. If the star is catalogued, you will get the explanation.


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Maybe I read too quickly, but are you actually claiming to have seen a star disappear?

If it was a star it would have been stationary (Iridium satellites move).

Variable stars do change in brightness, but not so fast that they seem to disappear.

If it was a star and it disappeared then it was obscured by a cloud that was too small or dark for you to see. It happens, I've seen it for myself.

If you're asking a general question about astrophysics, the answer is no.

Edited by acey
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There is also a phenomenon that can happen with satellites in high orbit. They look for all the world like a star, dont appear to move much, if at all, and then disappear or fade very quickly as the shadow of the earth catches up with them.

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If it was a star it would have been stationary (Iridium satellites move).

BUT.....if you only catch a fleeting glance at the final stage of a flare it would appear stationary and vanish.

Kinda like waving a watch infront of your face....the seconds hand appears stationary but is actually still moving.

I feel a discussion about theory of relativity coming on.


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  • 10 months later...

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