View Full Version : casual sky watcher question....

2003-Jul-08, 02:15 AM
As I was out for an early evening walk tonight I saw something of which I was unsure. I've seen the ISS numerous times and it is basically just a point of light moving pretty quickly through the sky. This object was MUCH, MUCH larger. It was cylndrical in shape, very silver, shiny, and no wings (at least from my point of view.) It's path was approximately SW to NE, give or take. This happened at 8:10 p.m. CDT and it was still early enough to read with no other light. The object's altitude was approximately 75 degrees or so. I looked at Heavens-Above.com for times and orbits of the ISS, HST and Envisat and none of them were near this object. Can anyone give me a clue as to what it was?

Kaptain K
2003-Jul-08, 07:00 AM
Just a possibility. It may have been an airplane that was still in the sun reflecting sunlight toward you. The glare would hide any wings. Again, this is just a guess.

2003-Jul-08, 11:10 AM
And maybe the wings were edge on.

There's nothing in space that could be seen as a cylinder with the naked eye. Except for maybe the mother ship.

Kaptain K
2003-Jul-08, 02:59 PM
Or maybe the reflection was off of the wings.

2003-Jul-08, 04:22 PM
Any possibility it could have been an Iridium flare? (Heavens-above will give you the timings for those, as well.) The airplane reflection sounds like the better bet, though.

2003-Jul-08, 04:41 PM
Any possibility it could have been an Iridium flare?
Even as big as the mission antennas are on the Iridium satellites, I'm sure that no one would be able to see them as cylindrical, though. The OP seems to say it was seen naked-eye.