Re: [OT] Need help in identifying a comet like object

From: George Roberts (
Date: Tue Feb 12 2013 - 20:38:04 UTC

  • Next message: Randy John: "RE: [OT] Need help in identifying a comet like object"

    This is on topic because we often identify (ID) satellites for each other 
    here.  But it might not be a satellite so maybe you are right - maybe it is 
    off topic.
    For something to move that slowly it is almost stationary relative to the 
    earth.  If it moved that far in 2 hours then I suppose it did actually move. 
    If it is a satellite it would be in an extremely high orbit - maybe half way 
    to geostationary (or all the way) meaning it would be very faint and not 
    visible in normal binoculars.
    I suspect noone will try to match your observation for 2 reasons.  You 
    didn't specify accurately a star that the object passed within a few 
    degrees.  That would help narrow it down from 10,000 objects to maybe 100. 
    Also you describe a very very high orbit object which means it shouldn't be 
    I suspect you saw something here on earth - in the sky.  Maybe a balloon on 
    a teather, or one of these:
    I've seen many tethered balloons before.  They can move slowly back in forth 
    over hours.  Sometimes they carry camera equipment or radar equipment.
    - George Roberts
    -----Original Message----- 
    From: Sankaranarayanan K V
    Sent: Tuesday, February 12, 2013 3:14 PM
    Subject: [OT] Need help in identifying a comet like object
    Perhaps my question is off-topic for this list - but I thought I will check
    anyway since it might have something to do with ISS.
    On February 8th early morning I saw a comet like object (fuzzy white with a
    tail) from about 3:30 am to 5:30 am Indian Standard Time (February 7th 10
    pm UTC onwards) from Coorg - a southern Indian town. It was quite bright
    and it first appeared somewhere in Centaurus in the southern sky. It  moved
    very quickly through Lupus, Scorpius, and Serpens in a span of about 2
    hours while its brightness reduced rapidly. One could see its movement in
    the binocular FoV.
    Now, how do I figure out what the object could be?
    Could this have been be a liquid waste dump from the ISS? Is there any way
    to confirm this?
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