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View Full Version : Amateur sighting in Pune India, new object in the south??



vorblesnak
2005-Feb-16, 04:56 AM
Clipped from the ATM List site www.atmlist.net, a telescope makers list server ..

David Davis
Toledo, OR

Shekhar Phatak shekhar at vsnl.com

Hello all,

Early in the morning on February 13, 2005, Ketan Pendse, a friend of
mine and I noticed some new and extraordinary object in the sky. This
object is not listed in any of the catalogues (Messier, NGC etc.). It
remained visible to the naked eye from 3.30 am until twilight.

We have already sent our observation report Central Bureau of
Astronomical Telegrams. The report reads as follows.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
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Preliminary Report: Ketan Pendse + Shekhar Phatak
Name of Observers: Shekhar Phatak
Contact Address: 203-B Umashankar Apartment, Opp. Hotel Shriman, Paud
Road, Pune 411038 Date of observation: 12 Feb. 2005 Time of
observation: 22 UT
Observation Method: Naked eye + Binocular 20X50 + Reflector 4" f/8 Visual
Place of Observation: Sinhagad - Fort 30 km south-west of Pune
Approximate Long. 18.233 deg N Lat. 73.567 deg E Altitude 1100 m.
Observers: All Amateurs - members of Jyotirvidya Parisanstha, Pune
based 60 years old amateur astronomers' association- having good
experience of about 10 years. Both have experience of Messier
marathon.
Observation: Some fussy object flared bright at approximate RA 12 h 36
m Dec. -23 deg. at 22 UT. (We are not very confident of these since we
did not take it seriously then). The object disappeared almost
immediately, thus we thought it was some meteor.
We noticed the object at RA 16h 08m 08s Dec -14d 34m 40s within half
an out ( 22:30 UT) as it brightened again (little brighter than Omega
Centauri.as seen through my 12" f/4.5 Newtonean with 9 mm eye-piece)
These RA/Dec are reasonably accurate. The object kept on moving
eastwards. We could not record its RA/Dec due to twilight.
The shape observed through the telescope (4" f/8 Newtonean) was
Spiral, very similar to a face on spiral galaxy.
As it was generally moving towards Sun, we think it could be a comet
very near to earth (because it was moving quite fast ).
We informed reappearance immediately to Suhas Gurjar, President
Jyotirvidya Parisanstha, who observed the object from Pune city
immediately. There was no paralax between the two readings, which
indicates that it was a far away object and not a local atmospheric
phenomenon.

Ketan Pendse - Shekhar Phatak
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
----------

Since then a report has already come in that the object was also
sighted from a location about 100 km north of Pune, more or less
confirming our observation that the object was not a result of any
local atmospheric phenomena.

We have already forwarded our report to observatories around the
globe, with arequest to try and spot the object again. If is indeed
a comet, it should now be possible to locate it in the area of
Opheuchus/Saggitarious. By this mail, I am requesting you to try and
trace the object, if you are a serious observer, or forward this mail
to any one who would be interested in helping us in tracing the
object.

It was too spectacular a phenomenon to take it lightly.

Clear skies,

Shekhar

vorblesnak
2005-Feb-16, 05:01 AM
I did a little research using an old copy of The Sky and what little I could remember about converting to UTC. It appears they were looking in the area of M107 which would put it pretty close to the edge of Ophiuchus.

David Davis
Toledo, OR

Squink
2005-Feb-16, 03:28 PM
Nothing in the news about the object this morning, but the Pune area is getting a new 2 meter reflector. (http://cities.expressindia.com/fullstory.php?newsid=117496)

vorblesnak
2005-Feb-16, 04:50 PM
Catching up on the BB yesterday I found reference to a gas jet/cloud seen over Hawaii at about the same time. India being further east, I wondered if they saw it from the end, rising into the sunlight. Certainly, if there was some roll to the launch vehicle the escaping vapor would have a spiral effect.

Tried to find the link again, (I think it was in Against the mainstream), but I could not find it. Maybe someone else could provide the link.

I scanned the area around M107 this morning, but saw nothing anomalous. Certainly no new naked eye objects.

David Davis
Toledo, OR

John Kierein
2005-Feb-16, 05:24 PM
You are probably referring to this. This was quite surely a rocket on the way to Geo, but that was in December. Either a comet or a nova is a possibility for the India observation?

http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=19522

aurora
2005-Feb-16, 10:28 PM
This phrasing:


Observation: Some fussy object flared bright at approximate RA 12 h 36m Dec. -23 deg. at 22 UT. (We are not very confident of these since wedid not take it seriously then). The object disappeared almost
immediately, thus we thought it was some meteor.
We noticed the object at RA 16h 08m 08s Dec -14d 34m 40s within half
an out ( 22:30 UT) as it brightened again (little brighter than Omega
Centauri.as seen through my 12" f/4.5 Newtonean with 9 mm eye-piece)
These RA/Dec are reasonably accurate. The object kept on moving
eastwards. We could not record its RA/Dec due to twilight.


to me sounds like space junk, a booster or defunct high altitude satellite that appears and disappears as it moves through the sky due to its rotation. I have seen satellite-like objects do this a number of times.

However, the description that the telescope view looked like a spiral galaxy is just plain wierd, and sets off my internal baloney detector.

vorblesnak
2005-Feb-17, 06:02 AM
aurora wrote ..


to me sounds like space junk, a booster or defunct high altitude satellite that appears and disappears as it moves through the sky due to its rotation. I have seen satellite-like objects do this a number of times.

However, the description that the telescope view looked like a spiral galaxy is just plain wierd, and sets off my internal baloney detector.


I have to agree there are some strange parts to the post. I wonder .. if it was space junk, cascading in, could it have been venting as it tumbled and given the spiral illusion?

John Kierein
2005-Feb-17, 03:31 PM
Probably venting from this Ariane 5 launch.

http://www.spacetoday.net/Summary/2796