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MongotheGreat
2002-Jan-28, 06:51 PM
I dont' know if this qualifies for a mass hysteria, but listen to this. In Novemebr of 2001, My brother, two cousins and I were leaving the field after a day of deer hunting. It was dark and we were standing around the trucks talking. After a while my one cousin said he could see a star moving. We stood around looking at it. It did appear to be moving, not much, but about a degree across the sky in circles or random patterns.

I couldn't see it moving at first, but as they talked and shouted: "it's moving left" or "it's circling", I thought I could see movement. Well, being astronomy minded, I took out a napkin and pen and jotted down a little star chart for later identification.

Turns out it was the star Formalhaut. It wasn't moving. And I could still swear it was moving and they all say I'm a liar.
I was wondering what conditions could actually make a star appear to move like that. Notes: no other stars appeared to move, it was low on the horizon, there were some trees in the way.

The only thing I can think of is that our eyes locked onto the trees as a coordinate system, as they moved it appeared the stars were moving. This seems unlikely, however, as the trees weren't really visible. It was very dark.
Thanks for any help,
Mongo

Donnie B.
2002-Jan-28, 08:35 PM
I'm not sure if this is the explanation for what you saw, but it's a candidate.

Most people don't realize it, but out eyes are moving all the time. These micro-tremors are fairly small, and our brains normally cancel out the effect when there's a good solid reference (like the walls and floor of a room, or a well-defined, fixed object in the field of view).

But when you're looking at an essentially black field with scattered bright points, there's not enough of a reference, so your brain can't cancel out the random motions. It's very easy to think that objects are moving when they're not.

As to why our eyes do this, I'm not sure, but as an engineer I would guess that it is beneficial to our perception of moving objects. It reminds me of an underdamped feedback system, in which you tend to get very rapid response to changes, but at the cost of some "overshoot and ringing".

In visual terms, you'd get very quick detection of motion at the cost of some uncertainty in its location. But after you run it through the "motion cancelling" filter in our brain, the visual field seems stable, except for objects that are really in motion, or in special circumstances like those you describe.

If this theory is correct, you'd expect the "moving stars" effect to be less pronounced when there was a more visible reference in the field of view... that is, if those trees were more clearly visible.

J-Man
2002-Jan-28, 08:46 PM
<Quote>"The only thing I can think of is that our eyes locked onto the trees as a coordinate system, as they moved it appeared the stars were moving. This seems unlikely, however, as the trees weren't really visible. It was very dark."</Quote>

Most likely the trees even though it was dark, however if there were clouds nearby this could also be the cause. A few weeks ago I thought I saw the ISS... turned out to be Jupiter with clouds moving quickly around it after a few more seconds of inspection... I think I just wanted to see ISS again and as I was half asleep, I jumped to conclusions...

ToSeek
2002-Jan-28, 09:09 PM
On 2002-01-28 15:35, Donnie B. wrote:
As to why our eyes do this, I'm not sure, but as an engineer I would guess that it is beneficial to our perception of moving objects. It reminds me of an underdamped feedback system, in which you tend to get very rapid response to changes, but at the cost of some "overshoot and ringing".


The explanation I've usually heard is that the movement keeps the retina (and associated "machinery") from desensitizing - if one gives a nerve cell the same stimulus for a long time, it stops reacting. So you wouldn't be able to see anything until you moved your eyes!

MongotheGreat
2002-Jan-28, 09:37 PM
Now, my family were the ones who could obviously see the movement. When one of them said it was moving, the others would agree, and I would say "Where?".

Of course, I'm experienced with looking at the night sky and actually know what I'm looking at, though it still appeared to move occasionally even to me. But it still seems strange that my cousin just happened to notice it. Believe me, after a day of hunting, you aren't really concerned with anything but food or sleep.

I'm starting to lean toward the tree idea. Or maybe a special arrangement of black holes was in the area of the light coming from Formalhaut.

Mongo

SAMU
2002-Jan-28, 10:39 PM
You say it was low in the sky. A possibility is that it was undulations in the layers of air you were looking through. As you would see an object on the bottom of a swimming pool move as the surface undulates with waves so the stars can wobble as their light is refracted through the air.

SAMU

Silas
2002-Jan-30, 03:53 PM
Have you ever stood in the middle of a very dark room, where the only visible light is a red l.e.d.? It's wonderful; after a few minutes, that puppy is FLYING! It looks like it's moving everywhichaway! It's just the brain trying to make sense of an image, but, wow, it's impressive (and humbling: we are, by our nature, very poor at certain kinds of observation.)

Silas

Ci2e
2006-Jul-28, 03:01 AM
I would like to confirm I have just seen something similar.

After a meal I went outside for a smoke, I generally look up and gaze at the stars. I noticed a very faint object lit up just like a jet but didn't hear anything such as the turbine engines which suggests it was very very high. As I watched it move south it suddenly lit up very bright and then shortly after the light went off. It continued to move south and then stopped south-east of another star. It has been sitting there without any movement for the past 30 minutes. I have noticed 2 shooting stars to the east and west of this moving object.

I love astronomy, and I can identify some constellations but I can't identify every star in the sky so all I can say is its about 60-80 degress in the south-eastern portion of the sky. It is sitting south-south-east below another more faint star. It seems to be have blinking red lights on the outer edges and 2 blue lights toward the center.

If whatever this is really is a star then it should be possible to find on a star chart but if it was actually moving then it shouldn't show up on star charts.

*UPDATE*

I keep looking outside to see if its there, and it is. It even seems to be moving at the same pace with all the other stars and its pretty much straight up in the sky but still in the south-eastern portion of the sky. I can't believe what I saw is just turning out to look like another star...

Ci2e
2006-Jul-28, 04:25 AM
It's about an hour or so later and the stars have moved and some clouds have made it difficult to observe what I was observing earlier.

Although, as the clouds were passing by I saw a very visible bright flash below the original object I was looking at.

Also, the original object I was looking at is now in a different position according to the star it was nearby. Earlier it was to the south-east of the star above, but now it is to the south-west of the star above.

This cannot be a star or else it would be moving at the same pace as all the other stars.

Barney gumble
2006-Sep-19, 09:13 AM
I was searching around on the internet too try and explain what i saw one night. I was on a cruise ship in the bahamas, on the top deck with about 10 other people. As we were laying there i noticed a slow miving star, i made an attempt to point it out when all the sudden it darted right then left then up, basically zig zagging through the sky and then seemed to warp back out into the dark. At that same moment 4 other people stood up and in amazment. I understand this theory of rapid eye movement...but to have that strange patten be seen by 5 different people at the same time blows my mind.....if anyone has any other theorys i'd like to hear em.

deedee
2007-Jun-18, 08:39 PM
I hate to say it but: if you sit outside on a clear nite and look beyond the trees with your naked eye, eventually you will see what look like stars moving across the sky; "moving stars" no other explanation? too slow for "shooting stars" and too fast for satellites, but yet they weave too. Do it and if nothing the first time try again a few times, youll see them, and im a rational individual talking im not crazy, but look and youll see.

jenncremo
2007-Aug-06, 03:03 AM
Me and 7 other people have actually witnessed this "moving star phenomenon", and i believe it has nothing to do with your brain. These stars move slow and some in patterns. One strange pattern we seen was a circle, then they straightened out into a line. It may seem crazy, but we all seen them.

AG30
2007-Sep-21, 10:05 PM
Hello, I just signed up for this site. im not eve sure what it is all about but I wanted to post on this topic. I have also seen stars do some pretty crazy things. Back around 2000-2003 I used to see a lot of weird things happen with stars. there would be unusually bright stars out and then I would go inside for a few minutes, come back out and it would be gone. One night I was outside with some friends and some friends of theirs and I was looking up at the stars as I often do and I saw a star zig zag up, down, left & right at a very fast pase. then it stopped and faded out like a halogen light bulb. It looked just like a star. it was very high up in the sky on a crystal clear night. it was the exact same color as regular blue-ish star.

eburacum45
2007-Sep-22, 03:13 PM
The phenomenon which Donnie B described is called autokinesis. It can make a star, or stars, appear to move in random jerky patterns.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autokinesis

When a small, dim, and fixed light source remains within visual range for an extended period of time, this phenomenon can occur, making it appear as if the light source were moving.

Barney gumble
2007-Nov-05, 07:04 PM
If i were by myself when i experienced "AutoKinesis" i would easily accept it. But i was with at least 4 other people that saw the exact same thing at the exact same time. And we stayed out the rest of the night and did not see anything else. I guess my question is can 4 different people experience autokinesis at the same time?

Swift
2007-Nov-05, 08:13 PM
From the link that eburacum45 gave

A stationary light stared at for 6 to 12 seconds in the dark will appear to move. This phenomenon can cause considerable confusion for pilots, especially those flying in formation or rejoining on a refueling tanker at night.
So yes, if all four people were doing the same thing, staring at a stationary light for 6 to 12 seconds, all four could see the same effect. Why not?

Cougar
2007-Nov-05, 10:21 PM
After the last shuttle launch, I heard that the shuttle would be visible overhead at a certain time. I went outside to check it out. Looking... looking... then straight overhead, head tilted way back, I thought I saw it... slowly moving farther behind me. I thought I'd turn around so I didn't fall flat on my back. Now where the heck did that go? Then suddenly, here comes the shuttle. Unmistakable. It was very bright and really moving along. It almost looked like an airplane cruising along - with no noise. I figured I hallucinated the "moving star." I think the power of suggestion comes into play in such an instance.

Phomalhaut
2007-Dec-28, 06:19 PM
I know 3 people who saw these moving stars too on three separate occasions. I myself saw something that looked exactly like a moving star only it was the middle of the day and sunny out so I don't if its the same thing it was also the only one in the sky. Anyone ever see a moving morning star?

eburacum45
2007-Dec-29, 10:24 AM
Venus, the Morning Star, has been observed to move due to autokinesis on occasion, so yes, definitely.

Phomalhaut
2007-Dec-31, 06:47 PM
thanks eburacum45 thats interesting to know however this star made a large, and quicker than a plane, rectangular trip through the sky. I and another person with me at the time were able to keep our eyes on it the entire time and trace it along with our fingers. This was in Central Park New York so we finally lost it over the tree line but the area we were at had no trees it was a large clearing.

Swift
2007-Dec-31, 09:00 PM
thanks eburacum45 thats interesting to know however this star made a large, and quicker than a plane, rectangular trip through the sky. I and another person with me at the time were able to keep our eyes on it the entire time and trace it along with our fingers. This was in Central Park New York so we finally lost it over the tree line but the area we were at had no trees it was a large clearing.
A "rectangular trip through the sky"? You mean its path actually formed the shape of a rectangle? How big an area of the sky did this rectangle cover? Was it a sunny day and what time of day was it? Might it have been an airplane at high altitude, maybe in a holding pattern?

Phomalhaut
2007-Dec-31, 10:48 PM
Well more of an open rectangle missing one of its short lines from my view the bottom part. It was sunny and very clear not one cloud at all 85 degrees that day and maybe around 1:30 to 2:30 it was April 22nd of this year. I don't know if the day matters any. It was not an airplane it was much too high and much to fast.

Kaptain K
2008-Jan-01, 01:16 AM
How can you tell how high it was?

ryanmercer
2008-Jan-01, 09:57 PM
My brother, two cousins and I were leaving the field after a day of deer hunting. It was dark and

Sure they didn't have any flasks they had been sneaking sips out of? Not to be rude or anything... but since they thought it was moving (and I know what happens when my family goes hunting) and you didn't... it's a possible explanation.

Veeger
2008-Jan-01, 11:26 PM
I think what you and the others observed was real. The star probably did appear to be moving as it was no doubt atmospheric refraction, bending the light and some kind of undulating inversion layer making it appear to move. It is all too common for low altitude stars. The position of the star itself was probably off by several arcminutes perhaps even a degree or so due to the refraction. Now if you saw the same thing directly overhead, that would be something to make you question your sobreity.
:lol:

-Veeger

Phomalhaut
2008-Jan-02, 03:33 PM
well I'm just taking a guess because all I have to compare it up against are planes and satellites which I have seen go very high up but this was about as high or higher than a satellite visible from New York which is pretty hard to see from here but I don't know maybe over 50,000 feet? I'm just guessing

DaVega
2008-Jan-15, 05:11 PM
ive seen this or something like it 3 times now. usually night fishing or just sitting outside looking at the stars. ive seen them move mostly in an s shape like a snake would crawl. but this is no trick on the mind because i sat and watched it move around the sky for a couple hours once. and not just in a small area it would move great distances passing other stars. i tried to find a pattern in timing or where and when they moved but it seemed to be random. it looks so slow you cant notice it unless u pay attention but must be moving pretty fast too be so far away. ive seen it move in circular motions too but not as much as the s shape. it would fade and grow in brightness. sometimes dissappear and pop up in another part of the sky and do the same thing. it would either fade away and i could not find it again or just stop moving long enough for me to loose interest. if anybody has information on this or has seen it too. contact me through myspace.com/smitheryscrunchy. thanks

DaVega
2008-Jan-15, 05:34 PM
if its autokinesis, why have has there only been one star doing this when there were billions? should i just be able to take my eye off it and it return to its position earlier? and shouldnt i be able to focus on any other star and make it do the same thing?

eburacum45
2008-Jan-18, 06:59 AM
I suspect that the different response times of your colour receptors and black and white receptors in your eye might have something to do with it. If a star is bright enough to trigger colour perception, the image you register will be the colour one; this will twitch about with a slightly different delay time to the twitching of the dimmer stars, which will only be seen by the black and white receptors. Your visual cortex will probably interpret the dimmer stars as being stationary, making the brighter star seem to move independently.

Louigi Verona
2008-Jan-18, 08:09 AM
You can make an experiment - after all, if you are into astronomy, than you more or less have an interest in science - and science is experiment )
Gather your friends, choose any star and stare at it for some time and see if the effect occurs again.

ElizabethShort
2008-Jul-07, 04:42 AM
I've experienced these events a couple nights in a row now. Actually tonight I've used it to trip a friend out. I said "Hey man, want to see some UFO'S".
Of course it being too slow for a plane and too fast for a satellite, my friend went ape**** looking at these "moving stars".

Today the one I saw made a zigzagging pattern almost forming a circle and then shifted away super fast.

Has anyone ever seen more than one moving star in close radiance to each other?

Phomalhaut
2008-Jul-21, 05:20 PM
someone I know has seen them and I have seen them once. What location did you see these in? Does it happen every time? because I have tried to view them again but it seems to only happen sometimes.

shadow15
2008-Jul-24, 10:27 PM
This is a very interesting topic. I saw two stars moving last night myself and I know I wasn't just seeing things or anything. It turns out stars do this all the time but we don't really know much about them and people don't usually pay attention to them when they do. They do this sometimes, but people have seen stars that don't move at all and they will think that they do when there's just a cloud in the way, but that's only in some cases. There was a smaller star I saw moving north from my view and it passed by a star and there was definitely no clouds out.

Then it had gone so far we couldn't really see it that well then just a few minutes later a much bigger star in the North that moved to the east and then started to go low which from earth's view would be North it seemed to sort of go by the first stars direction like it was following it.

Quite the mystery, I think astrology needs to be looked into a lot better. I will be trying to see if they come around again or if I see anything suspicious. A while back I saw a video somewhere on youtube that was about the moon mission and things like that and it also showed ufos that were spotted during one of the missions it showed a view of the stars and how they were moving in a strange way they marked they directions and such too. It turns out tons of them move quite a bit. I've seen others do this before. Next time I see one I'll have my video camera.

Kaptain K
2008-Jul-25, 12:04 AM
Stars do not move with respect to one another, at least at speeds that are noticeable over a lifetime, much less at a pace visible to the human eye! If you see something moving with respect to the other stars, it is either a plane or a satellite!

shadow15
2008-Jul-25, 04:46 AM
Okay, I see what you're saying but you've got no proof. For all we know, we don't really know and we will know whether they are satelites or somethingelse when we pay more attention. I will use my telescope to see if I can get anythingelse but you would think satelites would do more than just power our things and monitor everything. When they power everything there is energy pretty much being sent through it and back.

The movements that have been found are too different compared to the movement of a plane and most planes would flash and maybe have some different colors flashing as well. and it's not exactly like these satelites will follow eachother in such a strange way either. In fact just a while ago before 10:30 p.m. here I went to my front porch and saw one that looked to be sitting there and started moving way fast around the same direction as the first one I saw yesterday, like I said I saw a much larger one that was moving in a strange way in a different area as well until it came to a similar direction to the first one and then headed North.

The second one I saw tonight was going in the same direction except sort of in a diagonal way and it passed by the other side of a star in the East, Like I said this happens all the time and it has been proven many stars will do this sometimes. I will also add that I actually did see an airplane go by but it was in a totally different area and was different color of lights flashing. Dang neighbors wouldn't shut the heck up. Some of these are satelites and such but I very well believe that some of them are stars... I will look into their areas of movement and talk about it Later.

Kaptain K
2008-Jul-25, 01:35 PM
Shadow 15,

I have over 50 years of observing experience. I saw Sputnik I and II.
Neither I nor millions of other experienced astronomers, amateur and professional, have seen the fixed stars dancing around the sky willy-nilly!

clint_dreamer
2008-Jul-25, 03:53 PM
Shadow 15,

I have over 50 years of observing experience. I saw Sputnik I and II.
Neither I nor millions of other experienced astronomers, amateur and professional, have seen the fixed stars dancing around the sky willy-nilly!

Thank you. I don't discount that it appears things are moving in the night sky, however your own eyes will play tricks on you.

shadow15
2008-Jul-26, 04:31 AM
Well, whether you have had fifty years of experience or not, I don't really care about that or if you have seen Sputnik I and II. Yes, I am sure you know quite a bit more than me about Astronomy but maybe they really aren't stars. Maybe they are satelites but I have been seeing at least one for the past three days and I could probably find more if I felt like looking some more at the time. That doesn't mean it's not just a coincidence or nothing normal though. I'm not saying it is something out of the ordinary and i'm not saying it's something in the ordinary.
...

I'm pretty much saying observing isn't really enough, it's going to have to be looked into more. And considering this isn't that big of a topic I seriously hope you don't take that last sentence too serious...

X-COM
2008-Jul-28, 09:00 AM
I suffer from a hearing disability, I am not deaf but I commonly misunderstand what people say due the brain subconsciously "fill in the blanks" so I may actually "Hear" something differently then what are actually said. I have experimented a bit if the brain behave this way with something I can see as well. My conclusion, it's the same thing.

I cannot stop my brain from subconsciously guessing what is going on but I can consciously evaluate what I hear or see. I can discard what is ridicules but I may get in trouble when my "subconscious guess" are reasonable, that is when I am fooled. I know that there exist no little gnomes hiding under the trees so if I see one, I know it's an optical illusion and the brain rapidly dispel it when it make sense of it. If I actually believed in gnomes or flying saucers however, well you get the idea. I got a tree outside my home with branches that some dark nights look like a dragon.

Objects that mysteriously moves are often easily explained to the fact that I just cannot stand perfectly still, definitely get zig zag patterns from that.

Swift
2008-Jul-28, 02:33 PM
Maybe they are satelites but I have been seeing at least one for the past three days and I could probably find more if I felt like looking some more at the time.
You should check out heavens-above.com/ (http://www.heavens-above.com/). If you input you location, it will tell you what satellites are passing overhead. Great website.

Phomalhaut
2008-Jul-28, 06:45 PM
Okay, I see what you're saying but you've got no proof. For all we know, we don't really know

Thank you shadow! finally someone who isn't denying what they saw because it's not in a text book. No one can really say for sure and there has been too many reports of this to ignore. It's not an eye trick in every case people!

Swift
2008-Jul-28, 07:03 PM
It's not an eye trick in every case people!
Maybe not. Maybe things that people think are moving stars are airplanes or satellites or something else. Nothing personal, but people can be incorrect in many ways.

Or maybe it is. Optical illusions are a fine example of ways that various people are "tricked" in a consistent way.

But do you really think they are literally "moving stars"?

autumn1971
2008-Jul-28, 07:16 PM
An airplane that is high in the sky will sometimes reflect enough sunlight that it appears as a single bright point, and any manouvering will change the apparent brightness, as well as appearing to change the speed of the object, i.e., it can appear to hover in one spot, then quickly begin to move in some direction.

Phomalhaut
2008-Jul-29, 01:49 PM
Just as before Swift you make a good point (you replied to me before earlier in this) And I'm sure there are many possibilities. And keeping an open mind I can't bring myself to say that they are absolutely stars but damned if it didn't look exactly like one.

Swift
2008-Jul-29, 02:16 PM
My first resource for such things is Heavens Above, great website. It will help you at least find that its a satellite, or show that it wasn't.

01101001
2008-Jul-29, 03:00 PM
And keeping an open mind I can't bring myself to say that they are absolutely stars [...]

Can you imagine what star catalogs would look like if stars were actually visibly moving about the sky on the timeframe of minutes?

Catalogs actually list fixed positions for stars, or show the slow measurable, but imperceptible, drift of actual movement -- not some formula for where a star might be each particular second, or a rough large area in which it might be found.

Sample, Gliese 30, from ARICNS ARI Data Base for Nearby Stars (http://www.ari.uni-heidelberg.de/datenbanken/aricns/cnspages/4c00055.htm):


Running No.: 55 CNS designation: Gl 30 HIP: 3418 BD: +33° 99 YPC: 130.00 Vys: 361

RA (2000): 00 43 33 Dec (2000): +33 50.7
RA (1950): 00 40 52 Dec (1950): +33 34.6
RA (1900): 00 38 12 Dec (1900): +33 18.4

µ(RA): -.199 "/yr µ(Dec): -.354 "/yr Total Proper Motion: 0.406 "/yr 209.3°

ryanmercer
2008-Jul-31, 01:31 AM
99% of the time, it's probably a plane... I've lived by an international airport for the past 18 years... you'll see 'stars' that are stationary, and all of a sudden move 10-15 degrees in a as many seconds, then go back to being stationary... it's just aircraft in holding patterns here.


Edit: probably should have said this back on 01-January-2008, 08:57 PM in my original post in this thread.

shadow15
2008-Aug-03, 09:44 PM
99% of the time, it's probably a plane... I've lived by an international airport for the past 18 years... you'll see 'stars' that are stationary, and all of a sudden move 10-15 degrees in a as many seconds, then go back to being stationary... it's just aircraft in holding patterns here.


Yeah, That happens normally but what i've been seeing is one or more moving in odd directions and they don't just go 10-15 degrees they just go at a fairly fast rate not stopping...That youtube video that in one of the parts talked about stars moving, I'm going to try and find it and give a link I havent seen it in a while and it's hard to find.

That reminds me, Has anyone here heard yet that Edgar Mitchell has admitted to there being alien life in the universe? Sorry if that's off topic and you don't have to reply to the question, I'm just wondering if anyone's heard.

01101001
2008-Aug-03, 09:54 PM
[...] Has anyone here heard yet that Edgar Mitchell has admitted to there being alien life in the universe? Sorry if that's off topic and you don't have to reply to the question, I'm just wondering if anyone's heard.

Yeah. It's off topic. Look in other sections if you want to discuss his admission that was nothing of the sort.

Jeff Root
2008-Aug-04, 12:21 PM
There are many different things in the sky which people describe as
looking like stars. Some look a lot less like stars than others. Most
are very easy to identify by an experienced observer, some are not.

Most of the observations described in this thread seem to be of
actual stars which give an appearance of motion because of how
the human visual system works at low light levels or when viewing
an object against a flat background.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

Phomalhaut
2008-Aug-05, 04:59 PM
so are you saying that it IS mass hysteria? because in some cases more than one person saw the same thing at the same time and sometimes it was not just moving, darting, or circling but made an actual traceable formation.

Jeff Root
2008-Aug-05, 05:30 PM
What do you mean by "hysteria"? Or an easier question, I expect: Can you
come up with a more accurate expression than "hysteria"?

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

Jeff Root
2008-Aug-05, 05:42 PM
Rather than putting the burden on you, I should probably describe what
I have in mind.

The descriptions of several people seeing moving stars could be due to
visual illusions. If the conditions are right for one person to see the
illusion, they could be right for many people. The kind of illusion that
could be happening here would not occur simultaneously among a group
of people, and a star would certainly not appear to move the same way
to them all, but if one person describes what he sees, the others, seeing
the same illusion, might agree that the description was accurate, and
some would infer that everyone had seen the same motions, when they
really had not. It is largely a matter of accurately describing what one
observes.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

Phomalhaut
2008-Aug-06, 03:05 PM
no burden at all. I know the common definition of mass hysteria is related to a group of people sharing physical symptoms but it can also be like you said people all believing that they are seeing the same thing because of someone telling them what it is they are seeing. I only used this term because it is the name of this thread and i thought everyone understood it in this context. and i know this can go on forever so i think the best way to at least prove that it wasn't a trick of the eye is to see if maybe Shadow15 can video tape it like they said they would try. and that still leaves atmospheric disturbances and satellites and all that but it is one less thing to say that it is anyway:lol:

shadow15
2008-Aug-08, 09:11 PM
Okay, I don't think I will be able to get my own footage for a while...But i'm not empty handed on the subject. First of all, I know that some of these that i've been seeing move are satelites but i'm sure that some of these sightings of supposed stars moving aren't stars but nor were they satelites or planes, Yes some are just illusions but not all of them, it's simple as that.I mean it's quite obvious some are illusions, right?Though there might be some actual stars in movement but i'm really not sure about that and i'm guessing the ones i've seen weren't exactly stars...A couple that I suspect weren't satelites,planes, or stars was the large one that followed a smaller one that went left to right then kind of slanted :shifty: and went further following a similar direction of the first one until I couldn't see it. If some were alien spacecraft or something of the sort it shouldn't really be all that surprising, or at least I don't think it's that surprising...lol But to be more convincing i've got a few links to some videos. I've seen more videos but they're really hard to find.

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=13f_1206513969

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=68b_1191898978

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=666_1184552351

Now this last one i'm going to link to is of ufo's. Pay attention to when it zooms out, they begin to seem like stars at such a distance. They might have more videos on the subject of moving stars and such on the side bar of related videos.

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=d2c_1182472302

Kaptain K
2008-Aug-09, 03:41 AM
You know, it is amazing that the more experienced the observer, the fewer unexplained phenomena they see! :whistle:

shadow15
2008-Aug-09, 04:35 AM
You know, it is amazing that the more experienced the observer, the fewer unexplained phenomena they see!

With all of your experience would you like to actually shed some light on the subject and explain it better than saying how long you've observed and saying yeah right? Or is it one of those few unexplained phenomenas that you can't see?

Kaptain K
2008-Aug-10, 11:22 PM
I have seen several "things" that might have been unexplainable to less experienced observers and a couple that I could not explain right away.

Birds above a city's lights can look much like a group of UFOs. Especially nighthawks swooping and diving as they chase bugs.

Weather balloons in the evening look like glowing light unless you happen to have binoculars and can see the instrument package hanging below it.

Some species of spiders will, when the conditions are right, spin their silk into the updrafts and float away. When large numbers do this simultaneously, their silks can get tangled into a huge ephemeral mass that looks like a small floating cloud on the edge of visibility!

I once witnessed what looked like a multi-colored lightshow doing figure eights at the edge of town. If we (my college room mate and I) had not been on the fourth floor roof with a telescope available, we would never known that it was a small plane pulling an advertising banner over a high school football game.

I'm not saying that every weird sight has such mundane explanations. What I'm saying is that the more experienced the observer, the less likely the sighting will remain unexplained.

shadow15
2008-Aug-11, 04:32 AM
Okay,I see what you mean. But there's still the question of moving stars to be discussed here. I was using binoculars one of the times i've seen what seemed like moving stars. I know they weren't just some birds,balloons, or whatever else you said but I understand what your saying...

RedRonin
2008-Aug-16, 11:18 AM
Hi all.

I am new to this forum. In fact, I am new to forum-ing(so please be kind!).

I chanced upon this forum and this thread after I googled "moving stars"; I did it because I was burning for some answers to what i saw way back in around 2003. Just some facts about me first. I am from Singapore, small enough to negligible on the map but I hope big enough that most of you guys have heard about it before:)! My experience happened on one of my reservist(in my country we are recalled for duty once or twice a year after completing a mandatory 2 yr full-time stint at age 18-20) trainings. It was an extremely rare clear night, and that clarity was only possible as our training areas are always on the public-restricted outskirts of the city(Singapore is one BIG city-country) away from the city lights and smog. At about 12am to 1am, during a rest session, the little astronomer fire made me notice the abundance of stars dotting the sky(trust me something you DON'T often see over here) and I laid back to take in the splendour of it. I was just slowly panning the night sky when suddenly, I stopped at one cluster. In that semi-sparse cluster of stars, I could see one of the stars, or at least I thought of it at that time to be one, move in one direction, at a speed best described so many times by others in this forum as too fast to be a satellite and too slow to be a plane. And at the time it occurred to me it HAD to be a star because of the "height" it was at; sorry my powers of description are not as good as I'd like it to be but what i mean to say is it really DID NOT look like it was closer to Earth than all the other stationary stars around it; logic then kicked in and I noticed it wasn't shimmering with a smorgasbord of colours like a star(pls enlighten on this part, anybody), it was just shining white. I immediately told myself it must be a satellite moving then, case closed but, logic kicked in again and: IT WAS TOO FAST TO BE A SATELLITE. And at that

RedRonin
2008-Aug-16, 12:09 PM
same terrestrial dwelling as the stars it had to be moving REALLY REALLY fast. I watched it move for about an inch(sorry no better referencing power) over the sky and(this goes out to Kaptain K) it could not have been a trick played on the mind by our optical imperfections BECAUSE IT WAS MOVING ALONGSIDE, PAST AND VERY VERY CLOSE TO TOUCHING proximities among the other stars around it, ALL around it. It could not have been a plane because it was really way UP, UP, UP, UP in space, not the sky. I did not observe much further then as my training had started again and it went on all the way till dawn, and for a long time I have never been back to that training area again.

Near all where else in Singapore, I could never get a place with that clear a night view. It is sad.

I'm apt to start the it-could-be-extra-terrestrial ball rolling which I noticed everybody has been tactfully avoiding less they be permanently tagged the forum Trekkie, and then I'll get flamed first by Kaptain K I suppose.
You know, it is amazing that the more experienced the observer, the fewer unexplained phenomena they see! Apologies, but i think I speak for a lot of ppl when I say the retinal physical thingy explanation does not explain at all what we have seen, and we know what we have seen that is what we are trying to say. Why do you keep debunking the possibility? You sound like a you're a NASA spokesperson or something. There's no denying your knowledge definitely but please give us a usable explanation thanks.

Jeff Root
2008-Aug-16, 10:20 PM
Hi, RedRonin!

Everybody's heard of Singapore. That's where my disk drives were made.
The city/country queston is where people will trip up, I think.

To me, your description definitely eliminates several possibilities, especially
airplanes. We might eliminate some others if you can give us an idea what
part of the sky it was in. If you can identify the constellation or asterism,
that would be great. If not, can you tell us:

The date
The direction you were looking
The angular altitude from the horizon (horizon = zero degrees, zenith = 90)

Even if it was in a different part of the sky, do you recall seeing any
constellations you recognized that night?

How much time went by from your first noticing that the star was moving
until the last time you saw it and noted its position relative to other stars?

In that time, did it move in one direction, or did it wander around?

Was the star brighter or dimmer than other stars nearby? Was it a
different color?

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

Hornblower
2008-Aug-16, 10:44 PM
Too fast for a satellite? Maybe.

Too slow for a plane? Not necessarily.

There is plenty of overlap in the apparent speeds of satellites and aircraft. A jetliner cruising at 500mph at an altitude of 7 miles has approximately the same apparent speed as a satellite at 250 miles. A satellite in a lower orbit would appear to be going faster than that, and a plane at higher altitude and/or lower speed would appear slower.

A sighting around midnight in Singapore rules out a satellite in a low orbit, unless it is the ISS with a bright light we never heard of. Last year I calculated that my car headlights would be visible to the unaided eye at that range, if aimed directly at us.

At night, there is no geometric height cue for a spot of light more than a few hundred feet overhead. For any given apparent brightness, it will look virtually the same whether it is a few miles or a few light-years up.

My best guess is a plane with its engines throttled back so you could not hear it.

RedRonin
2008-Aug-18, 09:57 AM
Thanks to all.

Your questions will help me give a better picture to the rest here.

Sad to say I could not reference it to any constellation, but I was lying down flat down on the ground and it was directly above me; at the very zenith.

I cannot remember the exact date at all, it was quite a while back.

Something I forgot and recalled which made me think then it could not be a plane; well one simple thing was that it REALLY honest to God did not look like it was on a altitude that was within the atmosphere. Sorry very layman but I think I got it's whereabouts height-wise quite right. The key thing is it moved, from one star to another which took it about 3 seconds, AND THEN IT STOPPED. In mid "air", just like that, for about 2 secs, and then it continued again along the same path, and that's when I had to take my eyes off it.

It looked EXACTLY like any of the hundreds around it; same size, light density, hue, colour. Just that it moves. A moving star.

Jeff Root
2008-Aug-18, 12:50 PM
Sad to say I could not reference it to any constellation, but I was
lying down flat down on the ground and it was directly above me;
at the very zenith.
And you were very close to the equator. A communications satellite
in geosynchronous orbit would quite likely have been right where you
were looking, whether or not that was what you saw. If a geosynch
satellite was bright enough to see, it most likely would look identical
to the other stars -- just a pinpoint of white light. At midnight, the
Sun was almost directly below you. So the satellite's solar panels
would be aimed almost directly at you. As long as Earth's shadow
missed the satellite, the solar panels would be in the ideal position to
reflect sunlight to your eyes.

You said in your first post that you started looking at the stars between
midnight and 1am. Do you have any recollection of how long you watched
the moving star? Was it more than five minutes? More than twenty?



The key thing is it moved, from one star to another which took it about
3 seconds, AND THEN IT STOPPED. In mid "air", just like that, for about
2 secs, and then it continued again along the same path, and that's
when I had to take my eyes off it.
I don't know what to make of that, but it sounds similar to what I
saw the night before last, when I watched a plane with flashing strobe
lights go over. It appeared to jump back and forth between flashes,
so at first I couldn't tell which direction it was moving.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

Hornblower
2008-Aug-18, 08:36 PM
Thanks to all.

Your questions will help me give a better picture to the rest here.

Sad to say I could not reference it to any constellation, but I was lying down flat down on the ground and it was directly above me; at the very zenith.

I cannot remember the exact date at all, it was quite a while back.

Something I forgot and recalled which made me think then it could not be a plane; well one simple thing was that it REALLY honest to God did not look like it was on a altitude that was within the atmosphere. Sorry very layman but I think I got it's whereabouts height-wise quite right. The key thing is it moved, from one star to another which took it about 3 seconds, AND THEN IT STOPPED. In mid "air", just like that, for about 2 secs, and then it continued again along the same path, and that's when I had to take my eyes off it.

It looked EXACTLY like any of the hundreds around it; same size, light density, hue, colour. Just that it moves. A moving star.
I have seen an illusion of jerky motion when watching satellites. Our eyes can play tricks on us by not tracking perfectly smoothly while following a moving object against a dark sky. Our visual cortex does not always give an accurate transcript of what was on the retina at any given instant.

Let me repeat: You have no reliable direct indicator of the object's height above you if it is high enough to make your stereoscopic vision insignificant. That is a few hundred feet at the most. An electric light in the stratosphere, on an otherwise dark aircraft, will be the optical equivalent of a celestial body of the same apparent diameter. That means a star or a planet.

I stand by my guess that it was an aircraft of some sort.

Jeff Root
2008-Aug-18, 09:18 PM
Hornblower,

I agree that the uneveness of the observed motion is most likely due to
eye-brain communication glitches involved in trying to follow a point of light
on a dark background, caused in part by the frequent, tiny motions of the
eyes which are necessary for the visual system to function.

And I agree in general principle that in a situation like this, the number of
useful distance cues is minimal. But it isn't zero.

I think your guess that it was an aircraft of some sort is ridicuous. Awful.
Terrible. As bad as some of the guesses I've made about various things
here on BAUT, such as why one is instructed to remove a credit card
"quickly" from the card reader on gas pumps. :D

The description appears to be that this object was quite faint, was
practically straight overhead when it was observed just after midnight,
that it was moving very slowly, and that it was observed over a period
of several minutes -- possibly five or ten or twenty minutes or longer,
during which time it never strayed far from the zenith. I have seen
thousands of aircraft in flight. I've never seen anything that comes
close to fitting that description. Fixed-wing aircraft don't move so
slowly. Helicopters are loud and never fly very high above the ground.
And they both usually have more than one visible light. Even when
there is only one visible light, it is almost always easily distinguished
from the appearance of a star within a few seconds. I have many times
mistaken a plane 50 miles away or more for Venus or Jupiter, when I
didn't know where those planets were at the time. I've also mistaken
Venus for a plane with its landing lights on. But those are always low
on the horizon, not directly overhead. If RedRonin says the object
was looping around or going back and forth in the sky, rather than
moving in an almost straight line, or that he only saw it for a few
seconds, then your aircraft guess has some merit. Otherwise, no way.

The facts that 1) He was looking in exactly the right direction to see
geosynchronous satellites; 2) The Satellite would have been oriented
exactly right to reflect sunlight to his eyes; 3) The Sun was in exactly
the right position to give the maximum possible illumination of such a
satellite; and 4) The slow motion described is exactly the motion of a
geosynchronous satellite observed over a period of several minutes,
together tell me that this was very, very likely a geosynch satellite.

The fact that it appeared to be directly overhead even suggests that
it may very well have been a geosynchronous communications satellite
belonging to Singapore. China would be another good possibility.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

Hornblower
2008-Aug-18, 10:40 PM
A geosynchronous satellite would have an angular velocity of 1/4 degree per minute relative to the stars. You would hardly see the motion at all at a glance. This contradict's RedRonin's "too fast for a satellite" remark.

I agree that the description does not match that of any aircraft I have seen at night. His first post described a non-twinkling point of light, without the marker lights we normally see on any aircraft. If not an aircraft, my next choice would be a windblown balloon, faintly illuminated by the city lights not far away. If Singapore is lit up anywhere near as bright as greater Washington, such illumination of a balloon just might be visible to the unaided eye from the location he described.

RedRonin
2008-Aug-20, 11:26 AM
HornBlower & Jeff Root,

Thanks for your very technical takes and offered possibilities. They've helped me understand a lot of stuff better and provided *closely* acceptable answers.

I've checked a bit, geosynchronous means
adjective
of or pertaining to a satellite traveling in an orbit 22,300 miles (35,900 km) above the earth's equator: at this altitude, the satellite's period of rotation, 24 hours, matches the earth's and the satellite always remains in the same spot over the earth: geostationary orbit. (excerpted from www.dictionary.com)


HornBlower
A geosynchronous satellite would have an angular velocity of 1/4 degree per minute relative to the stars. You would hardly see the motion at all at a glance.

I would have to agree with HornBlower that you really can hardly see the motion at a glance, or even if the satellite was somehow out of synch or even out of orbit; unless you really stared, used apparatus or cue markers to take its first position in the sky AND THEN with all those aids just still manage to watch it do some microscopic movement over a loong period of time.

Bramblecutter
2008-Sep-08, 05:28 AM
I found this website tonight after seeing a weird satellite that was acting like several people have described in this forum.
At 9PM I went outside and as I always, looked up at the stars. Directly above me I saw a bright satellite moving west to east and then it changed direction which really caught my attention. I watched it for about a minute as it changed direction several times. I went in and got my phone and called my brother, but when I came out it had become stationary and remains stationary an hour and a half later, although it has moved to the west. It was not a trick of my eyes, as it was obviously moving in relation to other stars.
I have observed satellites change direction at other times while at my cabin in the woods of eastern washington.
I was searching for an answer on the web when I found this site.

eburacum45
2008-Sep-08, 09:57 AM
but when I came out it had become stationary and remains stationary an hour and a half later, although it has moved to the west. Objects which appear stationary but slowly move to the west are almost certainly stars or planets. Overhead at this time of year is the Summer Triangle; Vega, Deneb and Altair. I'd say that the object you described in the second part of your post is probably one of those.

The object you described in the first part of your post is unidentified; you say you went in and got your phone, and when you came out it was stationary. How do you know it was the same object? Same brightness, colour, relation to other stars, angle?
You may be right.

If the object you say in the second part of your observation was really the same object in the first part, then it almost certainly was a star, I should think probably Vega, despite the apparent motion you observed. . The motion you observed was a illusion, a good example of the sort of illusion described earlier in this thread.

Bramblecutter
2008-Sep-08, 03:32 PM
Objects which appear stationary but slowly move to the west are almost certainly stars or planets. Overhead at this time of year is the Summer Triangle; Vega, Deneb and Altair. I'd say that the object you described in the second part of your post is probably one of those.

The object you described in the first part of your post is unidentified; you say you went in and got your phone, and when you came out it was stationary. How do you know it was the same object? Same brightness, colour, relation to other stars, angle?
You may be right.

If the object you say in the second part of your observation was really the same object in the first part, then it almost certainly was a star, I should think probably Vega, despite the apparent motion you observed. . The motion you observed was a illusion, a good example of the sort of illusion described earlier in this thread.
Reply from Bramblecutter
What I saw was a bright, star-looking object, moving west to east. It then slowed, turned to the north then changed direction again. It made several more turns (like someone was positioning it) and then stopped. It was almost directly overhead and brighter than the stars around it, so it was very obvious when I came back out.

Since it had moved west with the other stars, you may be right but I have a question. Can someone on the ground move satellites around like they do on TV shows like "24" and "The Unit"?

eburacum45
2008-Sep-08, 08:11 PM
Satellites are moved around in orbit by ground controllers, but I doubt that we would notice any such movements visually. The closer satellites are moving too fast for such small adjustments to be easily visible, and geostationary satellites are almost always too dim to see.

Anyone with experience of satellite orbital adjustments out there, I wonder?

Jeff Root
2008-Sep-10, 04:12 AM
What I saw was a bright, star-looking object, moving west to east.
It then slowed, turned to the north then changed direction again.
It made several more turns (like someone was positioning it) and
then stopped. It was almost directly overhead and brighter than
the stars around it, so it was very obvious when I came back out.
Hello Bramblecutter!

If you are between 40 degrees and 45 degrees north latitude, then
Vega would be almost directly overhead for you when it is near the
meridian.

I think the movement is most likely the visual illusion discussed earlier
in the thread. From the reports here, it seems to apply to bright
objects seen in the center of the field of vision, with dimmer objects
on the periphery. This suggests that it is due in part to a visual
effect that I discovered by accident: Dim-light, monochrome vision,
provided by rod cells mostly in the retina's periphery, is faster than
bright-light, color vision, provided by cone cells mostly at the retina's
center. When your eye moves, as it does almost constantly, the
change in position of the dim stars registers first, and the change
in position of the bright star in the center of your field of vision
registers about a tenth of a second later. So bright objects seem
to lag behind dim objects.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

eburacum45
2008-Sep-10, 11:53 AM
This suggests that it is due in part to a visual
effect that I discovered by accident: Dim-light, monochrome vision,
provided by rod cells mostly in the retina's periphery, is faster than
bright-light, color vision, provided by cone cells mostly at the retina's
center. When your eye moves, as it does almost constantly, the
change in position of the dim stars registers first, and the change
in position of the bright star in the center of your field of vision
registers about a tenth of a second later. So bright objects seem
to lag behind dim objects. I have also noticed a similar effect. Surely this effect has been decribed somewhere in the literature?

ni01
2009-May-25, 10:15 PM
The other night, me and a friend were just looking at the stars and to pass time we were making up our own constellations and after a while he pointed out that a star was moving.
At first I didn't see it and was sceptical.. but then I saw it myself..
A star, just like all the others in size and brightness was moving, fairly quickly, and changing direction seemingly at random before it would get fainter and then disappear.

We watched for longer and eventually saw 15 of these over a few hours.. they seemed to have no patter whatsoever and would apprea and disappear at different places in the sky.

Unfortunately we had no better way of seeing the stars so thats all the information I can give on stars that seem to move...
We've thought of a few explainations..but none of them seem to hold or seem to just 'fit' and be the right one..

Any ideas?

Nowhere Man
2009-May-26, 01:29 AM
Probably satellites, moving into and out of Earth's shadow. If you can remember times, check with http://www.heavens-above.com. They have a pretty extensive satellite database.

Next time you go, take some binoculars. If the lights are actually airplanes, you'll be able to tell.

Fred

slang
2009-May-26, 09:49 AM
We watched for longer and eventually saw 15 of these over a few hours.. they seemed to have no patter[n] whatsoever and would apprea and disappear at different places in the sky.

What Nowhere Man said, and satellites enter Earth's shadow in different locations in the sky because they have different altitudes. (And of course, over hours, Earth's shadow moves too.)

(note to other readers: old'ish thread)

ni01
2009-May-27, 09:08 PM
I'm not sure I was so clear before, I didn't mean seeing the same one disappear and reappear..I could easily follow the movement of one until it faded or went out of sight and another would appear somewhere else..

Would you be saying satelites would appear to come in and out of sight due to their positions in the sky ?

I always assumed their movements across the sky would seem curved but at least constant as they followed the shape of the earth..am I wrong?

Also what would be reasons why I have never seen this before considering this was no extraordinary length of time, or any clearer than I've seen before?



I'm sorry if this seems irrelevant, I have no knowledge of space and it's related subjects and dispite the post being old it is the closest I've seen to what I saw and I saw it recently. :)

01101001
2009-May-27, 10:19 PM
I always assumed their movements across the sky would seem curved but at least constant as they followed the shape of the earth..am I wrong?

Also what would be reasons why I have never seen this before considering this was no extraordinary length of time, or any clearer than I've seen before?


They may enter or exit earth's shadow. You're looking at night time, and much of the nearby space, above, is in shadow.

You might not have seen satellites before because you just didn't grant them the required concentration. I never see them unless I calm down and look for a decent spell. I think they get easier to spot as my eyes adapt to darkness, which can take a surprisingly long time.

Jeff Root
2009-May-28, 02:04 AM
A big reason for seeing satellites one night but not another is the position
of the Sun and Earth's shadow. If you look at the wrong time of year, or
the wrong time of the night, or in the wrong part of the sky, or from the
wrong location on Earth, all the satellites will be shadowed.

A satellite is generally in your field of view for a while before you notice
it and turn your attention and eyes to it. Then the changing angle
between the Sun, the satellite, and you is likely to make the satellite dim
to invisibility even while it is still in full sunlight. And/or it will become
invisible when it enters Earth's shadow. Rotating satellites often become
dimmer and brighter over and over again while they are in sunlight.

Any satellite will follow a pretty straight path across the sky. It might
appear slightly curved, but if it appears very curved it either isn't a
satellite or you are misinterpreting the path because of moving clouds
or the like in the foreground. Anything in the sky can look like it is
moving in a way that it isn't, if you are moving and your direction of
motion changes, such as if you are in a car that makes a turn.

Back in the 1960's, I was looking at the stars through ordinary 7x35
binoculars in my back yard, and saw a satellite. I followed it for a ways
across the sky until another one, moving in a different direction, came
into the field. I followed it for a while until a third satellite came into
view. That happened again, I think twice more, IIRC, so that I saw five
satellites in the space of about six minutes, without any gap between.
I think there were more satellites in low Earth orbit at that time, because
geosynchronous orbits had not yet come into use, and low-altitude
satellites fall out of orbit after a few years, so they have been thinned
out since then.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

mikepisces7
2009-Jun-15, 08:00 PM
Idk what you saw but I've always been interested in the stars and frequently look at them. last week my lil bros an I were talkin when i seen a moving star. They seen it too an since it seemed to move in a straight line we concluded it was a satelite. So since I've been watching more frequently and seen many "satelites" in the Northern Kentucky sky then two nights ago i seen two stars moving simultaneously; one following the other. They ended up making a 'c' writing from bottom up starting in the northern sky and exiting my view in the eastern sky. wierd huh?

mikepisces7
2009-Jun-15, 08:13 PM
I was searching for an answer on the web when I found this site.

Me too check out my post. Have any ideas? How come the reply button don't work?

slang
2009-Jun-15, 08:37 PM
Hi mikepisces7, welcome to BAUT. Check out post #77 a couple of posts up, by Nowhere Man. If you know the time approximately you might be able to identify what you saw by using that website.

Just go there, pick your location from the database, and use one of the links under "Daily predictions for all satellites brighter than magnitude", and use the "prev" buttons to browse back to the proper time.

Swift
2009-Jun-15, 09:27 PM
mikepisces7,
I agree that many/most of the objects you saw were probably satellites, but I suspect that the object making the "C" was probably an airplane, maybe at very high alltitude.

eburacum45
2009-Jun-15, 10:29 PM
You might have seen a Noss triad- these satellites travel in threes (you might have somehow missed the third one)
http://calgary.rasc.ca/noss_triads.htm

mcrone
2009-Aug-18, 07:34 PM
I too have noticed slow moving stars in the night sky on two separate occasions,The first time about a year ago I was travelling over saddleworth moors at about 4 am when I saw which I now know as a meteor shower or shooting star, not knowing what it was I parked the car and got out of the car switched the lights off and marvelled at what was a wonderfull clear night full of bright stars, I suddenly noticed one was moving ever so slightly, I focused in on it and was amazed to see it zig zag left to right and then stop only to carry on, it sounds cliche but it was almost as if it were dancing around the other stars, I took my eye off it and focused on other stars but they were all stationary I went back to the moving star (which dismisses the autokineses theory) I watched it for about two minutes when it disappeared.

The second occassion was last Wednesday August 12th, it came on the radio that there was a meteor shower happening, in the same remote area again I pulled over and watched a meteor shower for about 10 minutes seeing a shooting star every 30 seconds or so, getting bored I was about to leave remembering the moving star I decided to stay a little longer, again without too much trouble I spotted a star move from very high N position to very low S E position, sort of 11 o clock to 5 o clock in laymans terms, this again travelled very slowly but in a very straight line almost disappearing at the horizon level.

There are lots of people who have seen similier things, I think it's funny how the so called experts are trying to rationalise and explain things away with their theories, I think we actually know very little about the universe around us.

Kristophe
2009-Aug-22, 10:24 PM
I focused in on it and was amazed to see it zig zag left to right and then stop only to carry on, it sounds cliche but it was almost as if it were dancing around the other stars

I've seen this very thing before, as well. Many times, in fact. They were satellites. The zigzag "dancing" is caused by the very autokineses which you've dismissed out of hand. The stars didn't appear to move because, knowing that stars are stationary, your brain corrects for your eye movements - you see what you expect to see. Unfortunately, you don't get the same kind of luxury treatment when looking at the dim, slowly moving pin-points that are most satellites to the unaided eye.


I spotted a star move from very high N position to very low S E position, sort of 11 o clock to 5 o clock in laymans terms, this again travelled very slowly but in a very straight line almost disappearing at the horizon level.

This also sounds like a satellite. Since you've described the date and location of the sighting, you can actually confirm which satellite it was. [url=http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/realdata/sightings/SSapplications/Post/JavaSSOP/JavaSSOP.html]Enter the latitude and longitude of your viewing location into the SkySearch fields, choose the correct date, approximate the viewing time, and perform the search. Depending on what kind of window you tell the applet to search through, it could take upwards of 30 minutes to finish. Then, just look for the object which matches the time and directions. There were quite a few satellites marking out the path you described that night between 9pm and 3am.


There are lots of people who have seen similier things

As you'll discover if you run the HSF app, there are lots of "similar things" for people to have seen.


I think it's funny how the so called experts are trying to rationalise and explain things away with their theories

If it's explainable - even predictable - why is it funny to explain it? Go ahead, run the applet. I have no doubt that your sighting will be on the list.


I think we actually know very little about the universe around us.

We know a lot about the universe. We don't know everything, of course, and never will, but we're not stumbling around blindly, and we're certainly not going to pretend that we are. We have a very good grasp on what you, and many others, have seen. We put those objects there in the first place; we know when they'll become visible, where they'll become visible, and for how long they'll be visible from anywhere on Earth. You're welcome to try it out for yourself.

flynjack1
2009-Aug-23, 02:51 PM
Dont mean to but in, but during training as a Navy Pilot we were put in a dark room with a single pin point of light, we were asked to tell when it started moving (around 10-15 seconds usually). Then the lights in the room were then turned on and it was demonstrated that the light was in fact afixed to the wall and had never been moving. The demonstration was to experience autokinesis. I had experienced this phenomena many years earlier on a camping trip with friends. Three of us stared at the starry sky and almost simultaneously started seeing stars move. The solution for this is simply to scan the sky and not stare for long periods in the same spot.

mcgheetech79
2009-Aug-25, 08:08 PM
Davega,
Autokinesis happens when the star is isolated or there are very few stars and in response to EURBRACOM45. Venus or a star does not actually move in Autokinesis. it just appears to move. Or it could be little green aliens flying around who knows.

twang
2010-Jul-17, 10:56 AM
Hi folks - first post - apologies for the length!

I saw something very similar to Jeff in about 1991 over the skies in SE Essex in the UK.
A friend and I were getting into the car around midnight (sober, I might add!) on a very clear summer's evening looking up at the sky we saw what we both agreed was a satellite.
I had been an avid aircraft spotter for years at this point and it wasn't an aeroplane - it was way up high moving in a straight line really quite quickly.
All of a sudden it stopped dead in it's tracks...which we both saw at the same time and quite nervously chuckled about it.
It then appeared to zip about the sky in every which direction.
I can only describe it as appearing to be pinged between several differently angled pin-ball flippers.
We both watched as it did this for a few seconds or more - maybe 10/20 - then it stopped dead again and then resumed the straight line trajectory it had appeared to be on originally.
Without us mentioning it - another friend described seeing the same the following evening.

Now this could be an optical illusion of some kind but no-one has really done a very good job of clearing that up for me.
I'm no UFO nut - I'm very happy to accept isn't our little green friends, and probably isn't even some 'new' military propulsion (though who knows?)
But I must stress - this wasn't 'flickering' or 'juddering' or 'fading in and out' and didn't appear to be passing through a cloud (though way up there - who with a naked eye could be certain?)
It was the sudden and pronounced certainty of movement that stuck me and my friend.
It was very, very odd and unfortunately the word we agreed on was 'unearthly' (UFO fans back-off!)
This zipped backwards, forwards left and right really very very quickly and suddenly before stopping and returning to it's 'course'.

Since the internet has made it easier for one to find other folks that have seen similar - this appears to be a common sight all over the planet - although you do have to wade through acres of lunacy to find it.
There are videos too -which look rubbish generally - like someone's shaking the camera wildly or as a pal remarked 'that could be a light pen on black paper' but they do show pretty much what I've seen, though the camera tends to blur the movement - and it's such an odd sight you wouldn't try to replicate it fraudulently unless you had seen it with your own eyes - it's that weird and stupid looking!

So, there it is - again my apologies for the long post...but I really had to clear up that this isn't 'like those dots you see when you close your eyes' as someone mentioned on an earlier reply, though I appreciate the attempt at explanation.

I tend to think it's a satellite and we're seeing something very bizarre occurring with light....but my poor brain is finding that very hard to reconcile with what my eyes (and my 2 friends) saw.

Any decent explanations/clearer reiterations gladly accepted!
I'm all ears/eyes.

Thanks

twang
2010-Jul-18, 02:30 PM
I'm now looking for something tangible on the web about auto kinesis - that could be the thing - but I need some examples.
Would a camera pick up auto kinesis or is it purely a brain function?
Anyone know any good web sources?
Thanks

Jeff Root
2010-Jul-18, 04:20 PM
I can't point you to any articles, but the "autokinesis" described in
posts 88 and 89 is a result of eye and brain interpretation of what
is seen, so it can't be shown in video or photos.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

twang
2010-Jul-18, 05:45 PM
Thanks Jeff,

I know this footage could easily be faked - but this looks pretty similar to what I saw

http://s292.photobucket.com/albums/mm17/Cosmic_Traveler/Whitelights/?action=view&current=WhiteLight6.flv#!oZZ5QQcurrentZZhttp%3A%2F %2Fs292.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fmm17%2FCosmic_T raveler%2FWhitelights%2F%3Faction%3Dview%26current %3DWhiteLight9.flv%26

You may need to paste that into your browser, sorry...

Jeff Root
2010-Jul-18, 08:02 PM
I'd say that probably isn't *faked*, but what it actually shows is
anybody's guess. Although an actual autokinesis effect can't be
captured on video, it should be very easy to make a simulation
of it to demonstrate what it looks like. However, since the real
thing can apparently be created without *too* much difficulty,
as described by flynjack1 in post 90, that might be something
to try. My laundry room can be made completely dark, and
should be long enough to set up in...

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

steffo78
2010-Oct-04, 09:48 PM
Hi,

I found this thread by searching Google for moving stars. I also saw one a few years ago and I'm pretty sure my eyes didn't fool me. It seemed like ordinary star and somewhat brighter than the others. Suddenly it moved very fast to another spot and stayed there. It really moved because it changed position against the other stars. It did not fade out or anything else. This is clearly not a satellite nor the ISS or any kind of planet. After what i've seen I did some research and found a video on youtube that showed exactly what i had seen. There was no real explanation for it so I stopped searching for it till now. Unfortunately I couldn't find the video on youtube, otherwise I would have linked it here. I keep searching for it and will post it when I find it. I believe that most users here have actually seen something. I know it's hard to understand for someone who hasn't seen it themselves.

Keep watching the skies :)

Jeff Root
2010-Oct-05, 01:48 AM
Hello, steffo78!

If something actually moved, and that sort of thing happened
at all often, it would frequently be seen in videos and in still
images made in quick succession, which is something that is
done all the time nowadays by amatuer astronomers with CCD
imagers in their telescopes. Such motion hasn't been reported.

Air turbulance can cause star images to jump around, which is
what 'twinkling' is. I'll be interested to see the video that you
have seen.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

steffo78
2010-Oct-05, 09:02 AM
Hi Jeff,

I've been searching like 2 hours, but I can't find the video. I guess it must be really rare :)
I'm going try to explain in detail what I saw. The "star" was right above my head and started
moving in a straight line to another spot. It went really fast and duration was about 2 seconds maybe
less. It didn't travel long distance because it was still close to the stars before it moved.
When the movement started it accelerated and at end it slowed down a bit and completely stopped.
After that I kept watching it for a time but it didn't move anymore so I stopped watching it.

I know the twinkling of stars but that is definitely not what I saw. I'm pretty sure I can call this one
a UFO, not saying that it is extra terrestrial but you never know of course :)

Jeff Root
2010-Oct-05, 01:23 PM
That sounds most like the autokinesis thing. Another possibility
might be that you saw a satellite. You were looking at the stars,
suddenly noticed the satellite moving through the middle of your
field of view, then lost track of it when it faded out again, and
your gaze switched to a nearby star.

You might find that video if you think of another search term,
and the video is appropriately tagged. Those things appear and
disappear unpredictably, too.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

steffo78
2010-Oct-06, 06:27 PM
I gave up searching for the video. So I decided to make one myself. This is not real footage, but just a simulation I made that gives a perfect image of what I saw. It looks quite real, but that only shows how easy it is to fake stuff :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7HTY8RfTHgE

1badman1
2012-May-25, 07:01 AM
We took an experiment with a notebook and the sky. I did not look at the paper while the
Object moved. I just simply drew what i saw in the sky. Have two people do this on opposite sides of your yard and see if they are spot on or close.our ancestors (maya & egyptians) have written pictures on walls of things that they have seen. In the sky maybe. This is my first night with pen and paper and i am really suprised to see a picture of a mans face with a ring in his nose. And 10 or 15 i havent figured out yet. We need a night on the same continent/timezone to get a viewing and draw what you see and see if we have corresponding answers.the first few minuites were spelling mopod E90 (large e). Then went to shapes. The rectangle complete first with squiggly on top then it started over with squiggly on bottom. But both were complete rectangles. Any suggestions on date im in alabama usa.

Rmayes1972
2014-Sep-27, 10:57 AM
Back in the 90's , late 90's . Me and about a dozen other people were sitting on this old gravel road and I looked up at the sky and saw a star take a fast dip , it caught my attention it moved pretty quick . I didn't say anything at first and kept watching it . It was doing zig zag motions and circles . When it moved it moved more than a couple degrees at a time . The wind wasn't blowing so the trees on the horizon weren't moving and you could use this as a set point of reference . Then someone must've seen me looking up because they then looked up and kind of shouted to everyone else look at that star moving . So about a dozen people maybe more stood watching this thing move for a couple hours or more . Non stop . To even put it to the test that everyone was seeing it move in the same direction , when it would move everyone would say when it started and what direction it was going . If this was a brain effect how could the same effect happen to a dozen people or more exactly the same way . I saw this same thing on a couple different occasions over the years since with other people and the same thing happened . Last night I saw this again , it was low on the horizon but altitude wise looked like a star , planes were flying across the sky and even using a passing plane for reference this star seemed to dip and zig zag move up and down and do circles . I am an experienced , seasoned merchant marine and very use to looking at the stars at night , but still don't know what this star is or what it is . I know what it's not , it's not a plane , or helicopter , nor is it an effect of my brain or vision , I can look at the star next to it and it's not moving . After last nights occurrence I found this forum and decided to register and comment . By the way my experience on the sea does include some celestial navigation , I don't have a lot of experience in it but enough to know what stars do .

Gshuford
2015-Jan-19, 11:13 AM
Hi. I just created an account because I experienced this last night. I work security at a plant and sometimes go outside and watch the skies. I've seen some odd anomalies, but nothing that can't be explained with some kind of reason. But this one really threw me.

The sky was a little cloudy (SC Jan 18 2015 about 8 to 9 pm). I stepped outside and noticed a few very low and very bright stars in the sky. The one I focused on was (in relation to myself) just low and to the left of Orion (near Orion's right foot). It was very bright and not very high above the horizon and there was also a barely visible treeline that ran the length of one side of the entrance road at the gate I work. I stared at the star for a few minutes because it almost seemed to be hanging in the air - almost like it was in Earth's atmosphere. Far to my left (if Orion was at my 1 o'clock position, this would be about my 10 o'clock position), there was another bright star that seemed to be hanging low as well.

At a glance, either star appeared to be still, but if I focused on either one, it would appear to start doing an almost imperceptible dance: small circles, jigging slightly to the left and right, or bobbing up and down somewhat rapidly. Sometimes it appeared to even flatten out slightly. It would happen no matter which star I focused on. As a way of eliminating variables, I tried focusing on other stars individually and I seemed to get a similar effect, though not as pronounced as the two very bright and low stars. The star to the left was also overhead of the facility which was fairly well-lit.

I wanted to set up my phone or a camera to record the stars from a stable surface so I could review the video and eliminate the possibilities of optical illusions, but my phone camera is a piece of junk and couldn't pick up stars in the sky. I was still paying attention to the stars in-between spurts of work. I can verify that the star I was watching most (the one near Orion) was moving across the night sky in tandem with the rotation of the Earth. That is, it was keeping its spot in relation to Orion as the constellation moved across the sky.

I just got up after a couple of hours of sleep to take my roommate to work and did a google search to see if this was a commonly known optical illusion and this was the first thing I found. I will look for the star again tonight.

Jeff Root
2015-Jan-20, 12:13 AM
Hello, Gshuford !

The bright star to the lower-left of Orion is Sirius, the
brightest star in the entire sky (aside from the Sun, of
course). The bright object far to the left of Sirius is the
planet Jupiter, which is the second-brightest planet after
Venus (which set in the west about 7 PM). The brightness
of Jupiter varies throughout the year as its distance from
Earth changes, but it is always brighter than Sirius.

I think your impression of their rapid motion may be due
to the difference between color vision, with which you see
Jupiter, Sirius, and other bright objects; and night vision,
with which you see dimmer stars. Your eyes constantly
jump around a few times each second, looking in slightly
directions. That is necessary for the eyes to work. When
they shift position, the images on your retinas shift. Your
visual system compensates for that shift and interprets the
scene as not moving. But it isn't able to follow the bright
objects as quickly as it follows the dim ones, because color
vision takes longer for the brain to process. So the bright
objects you are concentrating on in the central part of your
vision seem to move relative to the dim objects in the
periphery.

That's what I think is the most likely explanation in this
case. It could be something else.

Camera phones aren't designed to capture extremely dim
objects like stars. The human eye is!

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

01101001
2015-Jan-20, 01:32 AM
See also this blog article by some guy called the Bad Astronomer: http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2012/01/27/siriusly-twinkling/#.VL2tacvTnqB


If it’s near the horizon, you may see it twinkling madly: flickering, dancing, perhaps even changing color.

howardo
2016-Mar-06, 07:32 AM
Please someone help me i know this thread is old but something like this happen to me it was so vivid i can never forget, i wish we had the technology to see old memories on a screen $: Anyhow this happen in jamaica around 2001-2003, i was playing in the street with a old car tire, bouncing around, racing with my friends and what not. I was pushing the tire and i decided to take a sit and when i gazed at the sky there was a particular star, it was very blue, you could almost see the aura coming off it. This is the freaky part, it suddenly leaped about 3-4 times and then it just zip out into outer space, it was moving so fast there was a short blue trail of light behind it. I told a few people what a saw, my brother told me that what i saw was probably a star exploding but that doesn't explain much for me, i don't want to come off crazy but do stars leap? This has been haunting me pleaseee i need answers q.q sorry

Eric Bond Hutton
2016-Dec-12, 11:39 AM
As others have pointed out, the phenomenon described here—at least in the majority (it seems) of the 106 posts in this thread—is autokinesis, defined by the OED as "[a]n optical illusion in which a small stationary object in a uniform background, esp. a light source in an otherwise dark field, appears to move." Though the Encyclopćdia Britannica states that it is the result of involuntary eye movement, researchers demonstrated that it is not as long ago as 1928. The actual cause remains a mystery.

I first experienced it one evening when I was about ten years old. I had conducted an unauthorised chemistry experiment on my mother's Aga. Alerted by smoke and an unholy stench, my parents burst into the kitchen to find me desperately trying to tidy up. I was sent to my bedroom in disgrace. For a long time I sat at my window, gazing ruefully at a bright star to the south. Suddenly something odd happened. The star appeared to shift a little to one side, spin round its original position a few times, then return whence it had come. During the next half-hour or so it treated me to several repeat performances. At some point I grabbed a piece of paper and began to make notes. Only many years later did I learn that what I had witnessed was merely an optical illusion.

publiusr
2016-Dec-16, 10:53 PM
A sure fire way to tell if a light in the sky is moving is simply to stand near a telephone pole/wire, and wait and see if the light passes behind it and vanishes.

A still finger **might** do in a pinch

Oviraptor
2017-Apr-12, 08:45 AM
I can attest to the phenomena. One night I was staring at Orion and in particular Orion's Belt. suddenly the rightmost star started moving, slowly probably 1 degree a minute. I was kind of freaked for a moment as I thought UFO. Then I noticed it was following a pattern similar to a parallelogram. So I closed my right eye to allow my dominate left eye to concentrate on it, and low and behold it stopped moving. Opening the right eye and it started moving again after about 1-2 seconds. A bit more experimentation proved my right eye will make something seem to move in the same pattern if i stare at any small bright item, but closing it stops the movement. So now i am trying to find out why my right eye is doing that. it may be something that happens when we look with both eyes at very small bright object on a dark background, or I have a wierd thing happening when i do it, but your description seemed very similar.


I dont' know if this qualifies for a mass hysteria, but listen to this. In Novemebr of 2001, My brother, two cousins and I were leaving the field after a day of deer hunting. It was dark and we were standing around the trucks talking. After a while my one cousin said he could see a star moving. We stood around looking at it. It did appear to be moving, not much, but about a degree across the sky in circles or random patterns.

I couldn't see it moving at first, but as they talked and shouted: "it's moving left" or "it's circling", I thought I could see movement. Well, being astronomy minded, I took out a napkin and pen and jotted down a little star chart for later identification.

Turns out it was the star Formalhaut. It wasn't moving. And I could still swear it was moving and they all say I'm a liar.
I was wondering what conditions could actually make a star appear to move like that. Notes: no other stars appeared to move, it was low on the horizon, there were some trees in the way.

The only thing I can think of is that our eyes locked onto the trees as a coordinate system, as they moved it appeared the stars were moving. This seems unlikely, however, as the trees weren't really visible. It was very dark.
Thanks for any help,
Mongo

edaho
2017-Jul-21, 06:03 AM
About a week ago I was sitting outside at our lawn table after dark. I looked up at the sky to see how many stars I could see. I wasn't concentrating on any special star when, suddenly I saw one begin to move. It would go left, right, up, and down, quickly. Then it would go in tiny circles. The limit of its travel was from about ten to twenty times the star's diameter. I called for my wife to come look and we watched it for about a half hour. She saw the same movements that I did, at the same time.

I went out the next night, and almost every night since then. and "Old Faithful" was still doing its dance every time. I don't think it was a satellite because it stayed in the same location. I've seen many satellites wend their way on their appointed courses. On a couple other nights I saw two other stars doing the same thing, but not nearly to the extent as the first one.

I think that it could be the auto-kinetic effect because there is another, much fainter, star close to the brighter one. The two seem to always be in lock-step, the same distance apart and at the same angel to each other. It's hard to see the fainter one move, but tonight I am sure I saw it move too, in perfect unison with the bright one.

I had this same experience forty some years ago, before there was an Internet to explore for answers. At the time I thought it might be a satellite being positioned by small rockets or blasts of air. But after all these years I think that is unlikely.

Another thought I had later was that what I was seeing was a projection of light, like a flashlight being waved. It is certain that no object could actually move that fast and change directions so quickly. What if a star was having solar flares on different points? Would that make it appear to be moving?

Actually, autokenesis seems to be the most likely explanation.

antoniseb
2017-Jul-21, 01:45 PM
... autokenesis seems to be the most likely explanation.
I agree, though finding how you and your wife shared the effect would be interesting to discover... but it isn't astronomy, so we needn't discuss it here.

Stranger things
2018-May-10, 02:16 AM
ive seen this or something like it 3 times now. usually night fishing or just sitting outside looking at the stars. ive seen them move mostly in an s shape like a snake would crawl. but this is no trick on the mind because i sat and watched it move around the sky for a couple hours once. and not just in a small area it would move great distances passing other stars. i tried to find a pattern in timing or where and when they moved but it seemed to be random. it looks so slow you cant notice it unless u pay attention but must be moving pretty fast too be so far away. ive seen it move in circular motions too but not as much as the s shape. it would fade and grow in brightness. sometimes dissappear and pop up in another part of the sky and do the same thing. it would either fade away and i could not find it again or just stop moving long enough for me to loose interest. if anybody has information on this or has seen it too. contact me through myspace.com/smitheryscrunchy. thanks

I would like to know why I've only seen it twice. Once hunting, and once fishing. Unlike others, the people I was with could not detect the movement. It moved almost exactly as you described it. I'm willing to go with autokenisis, but why have I only witnessed it twice?

Imafraidnot
2018-Aug-17, 06:19 AM
I would like to know why I've only seen it twice. Once hunting, and once fishing. Unlike others, the people I was with could not detect the movement. It moved almost exactly as you described it. I'm willing to go with autokenisis, but why have I only witnessed it twice?

The wealth of observation on this site should be convincing that this phenomenon is not mass hysteria nor is it related to brain function. It is clearly a real phenomenon but equally clearly it is not related to the motion of stars. After all astronomers peer at stars all the time and unsurprisingly, movement of the type described here is never observed. Nor could it be, because any detectable motion would require the star to move much faster than the speed of light. Moreover the phenomenon appears to be unique to certain stars. My wife and I observed one tonight that did the well-described dance of S-shaped curves and rapid movement even though a plane, that would serve as a stable reference point, flew within less than a few angular seconds from the star. This star also ducked behind a tree and then shot well away from the tree. Obviously it had some distinguishing feature that differed from the other stars in the sky, all of which appeared to remain static. The most plausible explanation is that it differed in color or possibly had some degree of polarization or coherence, all of which could be selectively affected by atmospheric disturbances. Verification will require that someone identify such a star to permit analysis of its visible light features.