PDA

View Full Version : Jupiter mistaken for a distress flare



Sticks
2011-Oct-04, 03:34 PM
From BBC News (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-tyne-15165928)


A rescue search was carried out off the coast of Tynemouth Longsands after a member of the public mistook the planet Jupiter for a distress flare.

Tynemouth RNLI and an RAF Boulmer rescue helicopter were called out to search for a possible vessel in distress six miles from the coast.

However, after an extensive search, it was found that the informant had mistaken the planet Jupiter for flares

I thought things happened like this with the planet Venus :neutral:

AutoBoof
2011-Oct-04, 06:02 PM
Must be one of those new flares that goes into lower earth orbit and moves the same rate that the earth is spinning.

Technology is amazing.



Can someone shoot up one of those flares with ears? I really miss that one...

jfribrg
2011-Oct-04, 07:28 PM
I did notice the other day that Jupiter seemed unusually bright. Perhaps it is near conjunction. I didn't confuse it with a flare, but it cause me to take notice.

Swift
2011-Oct-04, 09:54 PM
Maybe Jupiter is in trouble and is asking to be rescued? ;)

schlaugh
2011-Oct-04, 10:11 PM
I did notice the other day that Jupiter seemed unusually bright. Perhaps it is near conjunction. I didn't confuse it with a flare, but it cause me to take notice.
I think you mean opposition: (http://www.nakedeyeplanets.com/jupiter.htm#oppdata)29-Oct-2011. :)

jfribrg
2011-Oct-05, 02:19 AM
I think you mean opposition: (http://www.nakedeyeplanets.com/jupiter.htm#oppdata)29-Oct-2011. :)
Yeah, that's what I meant. I knew it was one of them and I got them mixed up. I am proud to say that I am not well versed on terms that have their origin in astrology, even if they are astronomically meaningful.

slang
2011-Oct-05, 06:58 PM
Hmm... one for the "read that again" thread:


He said the planet "was also partly covered by clouds which possibly gave it the appearance of a flare".

Jupiter is entirely covered by cloud deck. How that helps it look like a flare... I dunno... :)

Anyway, this seems rather stupid, but only if you think about how Jupiter stands out on a clear night. Low, moving clouds with gaps inbetween can easily give the illusion that it's actually the stationary bright light that moves, instead of the clouds. It also, once again, gives a good example that it is very difficult, if not impossible, to guess the distance of a lightsource in the dark, without references.

Buttercup
2011-Oct-05, 07:36 PM
Maybe Jupiter is in trouble and is asking to be rescued? ;)

Oh no!! :( Poor Jupiter! Let's go and help it immediately! :cry:

Maybe it's the Reptiloids of Draconis, playing mind games with us. :shifty:

Sticks
2011-Oct-05, 08:30 PM
Naah

He's off sick and asked me to fill in

Buttercup
2011-Oct-05, 08:45 PM
I know what Jupiter is up to. :mad: Trying to get attention away from Saturn! You know, the ongoing Cassini mission and all.

Get over it, Jupiter! You had Galileo, and soon another orbiter on the way.

These gas giants...sheesh!

What does Jupiter think anyway; that it's the biggest planet in the Solar System??!...oh wait... :shifty:

vonmazur
2011-Oct-06, 04:39 AM
Well He did absorb the S/L Comet that was "supposed" to hit us...(According to the woo stories at the time anyhow...)

Dale

profloater
2011-Oct-06, 07:04 AM
well it is better than a distress flare being mistaken for Jupiter and ignored, at least from the point of view of the distressed. I wonder if there is a flare branded "Jupiter"?

swampyankee
2011-Oct-06, 09:05 PM
well it is better than a distress flare being mistaken for Jupiter and ignored, at least from the point of view of the distressed. I wonder if there is a flare branded "Jupiter"?

Good point. It also shows that there are practical reasons for people to learn basic astronomy. But, hey, at least somebody on the coast of the UK actually looks outside. More than can be said about a lot of people who live in US 'burbs

Ara Pacis
2011-Oct-07, 11:40 PM
Must be that nuclear material we crashed into Jupiter finally lit it up. :)

George
2011-Oct-08, 01:22 AM
From BBC News (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-tyne-15165928)
I thought things happened like this with the planet Venus :neutral:
Great story. I'm sure it will add to any backyard astronomy presentation to the public -- "Yes, that is a planet, don't call 911".

Solfe
2011-Oct-08, 01:29 AM
Is there something about Jupiter's orbit that makes it more spectacular this time of year? I believe Earth and Jupiter are on the same side of the Sun, but is Jupiter closer than typical? I have to admit, I do think it looks much brighter to me.

Middenrat
2011-Oct-08, 02:57 AM
Is there something about Jupiter's orbit that makes it more spectacular this time of year? I believe Earth and Jupiter are on the same side of the Sun, but is Jupiter closer than typical? I have to admit, I do think it looks much brighter to me.

Jupiter's opposition means you can draw a straight line from Sol > Earth > Jupiter, so it's as close as it gets. Orbits being elliptical, this is the closest opposition for another eleven years.. and the seeing is getting better this time of year (northern hemisphere). It is a bit bloody glorious.

jfribrg
2011-Oct-08, 01:48 PM
Is there something about Jupiter's orbit that makes it more spectacular this time of year? I believe Earth and Jupiter are on the same side of the Sun, but is Jupiter closer than typical? I have to admit, I do think it looks much brighter to me.

I don't think this makes enough difference to be noticeable, but Jupiter is very close to perehelion. This occurs once every 12 years and occurred on 3/18/2011, which means that Jupiter is about as close to Earth as it ever gets. The only way it could be closer was if Earth was near apehelion at the same time.

schlaugh
2011-Oct-08, 04:22 PM
To echo Middenrat, October can be a very good observation month is the northern hemisphere, especially in the US; it's not too cold yet and the air is often cleared by cold fronts. Right now Jupiter has a magnitude of -2.7, is approaching opposition and just passed perehelion. By way of rough comparison Venus is at magnitude -3.8 although it's still too close to the sun for easy observation in the evening.

I'm guessing that more than a few UFO reports will have Jupiter as the guilty culprit for the next couple of months.