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Thread: Moving stars!!

  1. #1

    Smile Moving stars!!

    HELLO peoplee, just signed up for this , im an 18 year old male from portsmouth england, i just would lke to know if anyone could tell me , eveery night i look up at the sky and i spot moving stars"?? quite a few of them but its wierd because i see them but all my mates say there planes !! i hate people like that , it might not be a star i just want to know what it is , and im the only person in my family and out of my mates who sees shooting stars too!! amazing ones aswell its incrediblee i love space haha thanks x

  2. #2
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    Hi "the amazing star watcher", welcome to BAUT.

    It is hard to say specifically what you are seeing, but if it is the same thing every night, airplanes are certainly a possibility. It could also be passing satellites. heavens-above.com is a great website to check for satellite passes.

    Can you give us a little more description of what you see? How often, how quickly do they move, how much of the sky do they move across, are there specific times, etc.
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

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  3. #3
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    Hello, amazing. Here are some things that may help you answer your question.

    Satellite spotting typically requires patience and dark skies, as most satellites are fairly dim. Major exceptions are the ISS and the space shuttle, and you can use Heavens Above to find out when the ISS will be passing over. Satellites move fairly slowly, meteors are fast.

    Get out a map and find your location, and then the locations of the nearest airports. I live about 25-30 miles away from Detroit Metro, and I see planes and their lights in the skies all the time. Planes move slowly (mostly, it depends on the altitude and true speed) and sometimes you can make out the colored or blinking lights.

    Obtain a pair of binoculars and get a closer look at the moving lights. Odds are, if it's an airplane, it should be pretty obvious.

    Keep watching the skies!

    Fred
    Hey, you! "It's" with an apostrophe means "it is" or "it has." "Its" without an apostrophe means "belongs to it."

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  4. #4
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    I am not sure what it is called. I live in interior Alaska and drive tourists 3-5 times a week in the winter to the Arctic Circle for a chance of seeing the Aurora Borealis. About 3 years ago I was parked and everyone was enjoying the lights, I noticed a semi-bright star just off of the horizon to the east. As I watched it, it began to change colors, (red, green and blue) the it began jumping and moving up, down left, right for a few minutes then it would resume itís stationary position on the horizon. After a few minutes it would resume the sequence again. I showed it one at a time to all of my guests that night and all seen it, no one had an explanation. After that night, I began seeing other stars going through the same motions (not exactly the same movements, but the same sequence. It isnít the same star but it is always a somewhat bright star just off of the horizon. I have seen it in all directions. Back in September, I had a guest that knew of this phenomenon after I pointed one out to my group. He said that because of our latitude, tilt of Earthís axis, and the starís location just off the horizon causes the light to pass through more layers of the atmosphere thus refracting the light and giving the appearance of color changes and movement. It sounded good to me. I know that I can find them anytime that it is dark. I am just happy to hear that it is not just me convincing tourists that we have jumping stars in our sky.

  5. #5
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    If the star was to the east, it would not have stayed just above the horizon. If you waited long enough it would have risen clear and gotten above that low elevation turbulence. Did you watch it for any length of time or try to identify it?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rdp68 View Post
    He said that because of our latitude, tilt of Earth’s axis, and the star’s location just off the horizon causes the light to pass through more layers of the atmosphere thus refracting the light and giving the appearance of color changes and movement. It sounded good to me. I know that I can find them anytime that it is dark. I am just happy to hear that it is not just me convincing tourists that we have jumping stars in our sky.
    The phenomenon is called scintillation. Tilt of the Earth's axis isn't particularly relevant, I think. Your high latitude means the star rises or sets slowly, and stays in the scintillation zone near the horizon for longer, but you can also see this phenomenon right on the equator. All it needs is a layered atmosphere and a bit of turbulence.

    Grant Hutchison
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by the amazing star watcher View Post
    HELLO peoplee, just signed up for this , im an 18 year old male from portsmouth england, i just would lke to know if anyone could tell me , eveery night i look up at the sky and i spot moving stars"?? quite a few of them but its wierd because i see them but all my mates say there planes !! i hate people like that , it might not be a star i just want to know what it is , and im the only person in my family and out of my mates who sees shooting stars too!! amazing ones aswell its incrediblee i love space haha thanks x
    I saw 2 of them a few days ago while watching the night sky. They move fast, but not as fast as a shooting star, correct? I believe one of them was probably the International Space Station and the other was probably another satellite of some sort. They moved at the same speed. Both objects were bright as stars.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainToonces View Post
    I saw 2 of them a few days ago while watching the night sky. They move fast, but not as fast as a shooting star, correct? I believe one of them was probably the International Space Station and the other was probably another satellite of some sort. They moved at the same speed. Both objects were bright as stars.
    The OP you replied to is eight years old - I doubt the poster will be back.

    Grant Hutchison
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    During life, we all develop attitudes and strategies to make our interactions with others more pleasant and useful. If I mention mine here, those comments can apply only to myself, my experiences and my situation. Such remarks cannot and should not be construed as dismissing, denigrating, devaluing or criticizing any different attitudes and strategies that other people have evolved as a result of their different situation and different experiences.

  9. #9
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    No, I have never observed one non stop for any length of time. But I canon any given clear night. How long does it need to be observed?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rdp68 View Post
    No, I have never observed one non stop for any length of time. But I canon any given clear night. How long does it need to be observed?
    If it is directly east, it will rise about one degree, approximately the width of a fingernail at arm's length, in ten minutes. In doing so it will move to the right about twice that far and brighten considerably. Any scintillation should diminish. It definitely will not stay in one place. If you see on stay in place for a few minutes, I would guess a helicopter.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rdp68 View Post
    No, I have never observed one non stop for any length of time. But I canon any given clear night. How long does it need to be observed?
    We are assuming the movement is very minimal, much less than a pinky at arms length. If it's more than a tiny amount, it should be noted.

    Color changes due to atmospheric refraction can be dramatic taking perhaps a second for a star to change its color, which is a result of air stability.
    We know time flies, we just can't see its wings.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    The OP you replied to is eight years old - I doubt the poster will be back.

    Grant Hutchison
    Well he says in the post he's 18, though perhaps that's an 8 year old's typo. Whatever his age, if you read the OP carefully, you can see that he's talking about satellites, not scintillation.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainToonces View Post
    Well he says in the post he's 18, though perhaps that's an 8 year old's typo.
    If you're being facetious, I like it! If not, you might want to note the date of the OP at the time it was posted.


    [I kinda wish old posts had a different background color to warn us a little better.]
    We know time flies, we just can't see its wings.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainToonces View Post
    Well he says in the post he's 18, though perhaps that's an 8 year old's typo. Whatever his age, if you read the OP carefully, you can see that he's talking about satellites, not scintillation.
    I was replying to the new post that raised this thread from the dead, not the eight-years-old Original Post. The new post (which begins "I'm not sure what it is called") is about scintillation.

    Grant Hutchison
    Last edited by grant hutchison; 2019-Jan-04 at 11:22 PM.
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  15. #15
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    LOL Grant, I read "OP" in your post as "Original Poster" but you were intending it to mean "Original Post." No worries

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