Re: Object in Sky?

From: George Roberts (
Date: Sun Jul 27 2008 - 16:21:22 UTC

  • Next message: Derek C Breit: "RE: Object in Sky?"

    >It was around 9:45 or thereabouts at night, we noticed a rather slow moving, 
    >light-emitting object wobbling across the night sky which did not seem to be 
    >very far up (maybe a few miles?). Although it is difficult to determine
    Doesn't sound like a satellite.  Satellites don't wobble and they are points 
    sources.  A light on a string hanging from a balloon?  Often people launch 
    candle hot air balloons - they can travel for many miles.  Satellites look like 
    airplanes - about the same speed and brightness (or fainter) - but don't have a 
    strobe light and don't have red and/or green lights on them.  The west to east 
    part sounds good (they usually head any direction except to the west but that's 
    possible too).
    Was it a point source or extended object?
    point source is something that is so far away that it looks like a single point 
    of light although it might twinkle like a star or exibit tiny hair like fingers 
    sticking out (caused by the optical nature of our eyes).  Stars and planets seen 
    without optical aid are point sources (except for our sun).
    An extended object is something that you can see is larger than a point - most 
    things are extended - we can see that they have a shape even if it is very small 
    and round.
    - George Roberts
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