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Hypernova

I have just seen something I cannot explain

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I was just in the middle of focusing my webcam on Polaris, centring it in the finder, when something zipped through the FOV of the finder.

I looked up expecting to see a plane as the object had two lights. But what I saw were two faint-ish orange lights, not flashing, zooming in formation across the sky. I watched the two objects for about twenty seconds as they went faster than any plane I have ever seen, comparable to a slow meteor. They went in a perfectly straight line from Polaris to Alpha Herculis before fading.

No trails were seen nor any sound or flashes. Viewing time of these objects were about 21:20 from the Crewe area.

Does anyone know what they might've been? UFO, Binary meteor, earthskimmer?

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Chinese Lanterns if they were glowing and flickering. Higher up it could have been two satellites travelling in formation as some of them do. Failing that I'd say aliens lol :)

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I seen exactly the same whilst looking at Andromeda the other night, heading on an NS axis, one light slighty behind the other and about a fingers width, assumed they were jet fighters as they were travelling much faster than a satallite. As for Chinese lanterns, only seen the one and with no wind it was travelling praticually straight up :) .

Jim

Edited by The Sailor

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Well it's definitely a UFO until we suss it out :p

Was it in the atmosphere? If not it may have been a sat or the ISS (more knowledgeable will confirm if this is even possible at that time).

Until it's solved it's an exciting mystery :)

Edit: Those guys got in as I composed this and they're far more likely to know :)

Edited by astroimpulse

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The ISS is unmistakeable - very bright like a pinball in the dark - and shifting too. Two of them woulda been the space shuttle docking/undocking but that's no longer in service. I'd say most likely satellites if they were very high :)

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Most definitely weren't chinese lanterns, they didn't flicker and crossed pretty much half the sky in 20 seconds in perfect formation. I have seen many of them and they don't match up with what I saw. ISS is out of the question as these were going in the opposite direction, Polaris to the western horizon.

They were going at least 3x the speed of any pass of any satellite I've seen as well, it takes minutes for a sat to cross the sky. Plus they were orange-y coloured.

Edited by Hypernova

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I know the ISS by sight, seen it too many times to mistake something else for it. As far as the docking theory, seen the ISS and that Soviet cargo ship a few months ago, not the same attitude, and slower. What I seen going across my FOV may have been satellites but they were shifting, I still have jet fighter in my sights :) .

Jim

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... the space shuttle docking/undocking but that's no longer in service

Only Atlantis has retired, Discovery still has one more flight scheduled. In fact its on the pad right now with a probably launch date of Nov 1st.

Steve

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Oh... thats brilliant news - thanks Steve :)

(I got all emotional at the last launch - now I have to go through it all again lol)

Edited by brantuk

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There's at least two Shuttle launches remaining.

STS-133, Discovery scheduled for Nov 1st

STS-134, Endeavor scheduled for Feb 27, 2011

STS-335 is the desination for an additional flight of Atlantis if needed for a rescue mission for the STS-134 astronauts. There is still a posssibility that STS-335 could be converted to a an additional shuttle flight and would be redesignated STS-135, to fly in June 2011 (from NASA)

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There is a set of satellites, I think there is three of them actually, that travel in formation. I have seen them travel near the pole a couple of times.

The orangy colour is perhaps a feature of the moist air, most stars through my binos look on the red side tonight so far, even the ones I know to be blue :)

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COSPAS C12 (STERKH 2) Satellite headed past polaris at 21:22:16 and headed towards Ursa major, passing Giausar (the final star in the tail of Draco) at 21:23:28.

At 21:24.41 it almost converged at the bottom of the pan part of Ursa major with another Satellite (IRIDIUM 38).

Not sure if this helps but there was nothing else around this time.

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Just an idea, but could they possibly have been twin 'earthgrazers'?

Earthgrazers are meteors which hit our atmosphere soon after sunset and because of this, they go through our atmosphere at a very oblique angle and travel slower than regular meteors but much faster than a satellite. Check to see if there are any meteor showers going on whose radiant was below the horizon in the direction you saw these objects travelling from. :)

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It was definitely not a satellite, travelled much faster than even the shuttle external tank, which is fast-er than other LEO satellites. As I have said, it crossed the approx 90 degrees of sky from Polaris to the western horizon in under 20 seconds.

I am currently leaning towards the possibility of a meteor originating from the Orionids shower. Tracing back the path from A Herculis to Polaris, it carries on to below the horizon into Orion which was about 10-20 degrees below the horizon at the time of the sighting.

Perfect conditions for an earthgrazer it seem?

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I saw something similar to this approx 3-4 years ago. I saw two bright orange lights, although these were slow moving and were at least 30 degrees apart.

They were'nt chinese lanterns as I've seen them before and we were at sea and over a hundred miles off the east coast of North England at the time.

My impression was that they may have been either military helicopters or fixed wing aircraft.

These lights blinked off at the same time and were'nt seen again.

I have'nt seen anything like them before or since.

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Well it's definitely a UFO until we suss it out :D

I'd say it's more likely to be a secret US spy plane than any aliens. :)

Assuming the UK government budget deficit was caused by the banks and not some kind of home brewed secret aviation project they are not telling us.

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I'm gonna say a duo of satellites. I've seen similar things a few times. Two of them appearing to be side by side traveling in exactly the same direction.

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According to heavens above, the pair of satellites (Tandem-x) orbit in a near polar orbit travelling currently south to north over the UK. Doesn't seem to match up with the observed track of the objects, which went approximately ENE to Polaris to W in a straight line.

LIVE REAL TIME SATELLITE TRACKING AND PREDICTIONS: TANDEM X

Well as far as I am concerned this is the explanation :)

Jim

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