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space101
2007-Sep-27, 07:00 PM
Yesterday I came out from my class room in the night around 8:45pm CA time and saw a brilliantly bright object glowing in the sky. I was amazed to see it so bright & clear even though it was a full moon night. It was as big as a flourescent bulb was not white or blue. It was pale yellow & wasnt moving.For sure it was not an airplane. I showed to my friend. I dont know for how long it was glowing before i saw it. The brightness disappeared slowly in a minute & then all i could see was something similar to any other distant star. I have no idea what it was. I was not imaginating anything and also not faking. So the question is what was it? :think::think:

astromark
2007-Sep-27, 07:24 PM
Sorry... can not answer a question like this with absolute certainty.
You have given us some of the facts. We might need some more to be sure of what this object might have been.

East west or what?

Apparent hight above horizon?

You have stated that it was not an airplane. How can you be so sure of that?
If this object was west of your location and low in the sky then it could easily have been any one of the following.
An iridium flare.
The refracted lights of a fishing boat...
Atmospheric anomaly.
Landing lights of air craft.
Sun light reflection off high altitude weather balloon.
" " " " " " airplane.
" " " " a alien controlled inelegance's space craft...
As you might guess. we need more information to be precise.

Occam
2007-Sep-27, 07:29 PM
My guess would be aircraft landing lights. If the aircraft is coming directly toward you, they can be seen for many miles and appear to be motionless in the sky.

space101
2007-Sep-28, 12:33 AM
I am a night owl & watch the night sky almost every night since an year or so.
I have also spotted satellites (definitely not airplanes) 3 or 4 times which first seemed to be stars moving at a stable speed. For that reason I am much sure what I saw yesterday was not an airplane of any kind. Also the bright light I am talking about was not moving. I am puzzled.......

Kaptain K
2007-Sep-28, 07:18 AM
As astromark said, we need more information. What direction? If it was southwest, I would say Jupiter. The dimming could have been due to a thin cloud passing in front. If it was blocked while you weren't looking, Antares is just below Jupiter.

space101
2007-Sep-28, 04:32 PM
Good Morning Kaptain. The bright object I saw was in the north...It was exceptionally bright & big. It dimmed out probably in a minute and then i kept looking the sky.....i did not see it again.

alainprice
2007-Sep-28, 08:56 PM
Maybe it was Uranus?

I kid, I kid...

Could you also tell us how high the object was? How big(this is gonna be a thougher one to answer)?

KaiYeves
2007-Sep-29, 12:50 AM
No ideas, but in light of my Arcturus sighting a few weeks ago here (www.bautforum.com/astronomy/64541-satellite.html), I'll bet it wasn't anything out of the ordinary.

DaveC426913
2007-Sep-29, 03:28 AM
This sounds a lot like a helicopter searchlight.

ogarza
2007-Sep-29, 08:07 AM
the men in black would tell you it was the reflection of venus on swamp gas

astromark
2007-Sep-29, 08:38 AM
This sounds a lot like a helicopter searchlight.

substitute 'looks' for 'sounds'...

You have a good reasoned explanation... good on you Dave.

Without more information we can not know what you saw. We can give you probable explanations for the facts as you have stated them. How high above horizon? If this object was not there before or after then its not a star or planet. They do not tend to vanish from view unless clouds interrupt the light path. I like Dave's attempt at explanation best. Many military operations are conducted at night. At high altitude a military fuel tanker could if traveling to wards or away appear very stationary.

astromark
2007-Sep-29, 08:47 AM
Could this have been the full moon? and then obscured by cloud or flying Luddite

space101
2007-Sep-29, 04:57 PM
Guys the moon was much bigger & clearly visible when i saw the bright object . There were no clouds in the sky and no helicopters nor any military operations were going around. From where I saw the object no high altitudes around. Anyways thats all the info i have. I do not know much about the horizon u r talking about. Also no airports around. I will continue watching the night skies for interesting things...Thank you for your answers

Tucson_Tim
2007-Sep-29, 05:08 PM
Another (slim) possibility is a meteor on a trajectory directly towards the observer, which I have seen occasionally during meteor showers. If you are very lucky and happen to be looking at the meteor shower radiant point you might see one that is coming directly towards you so all that you see is an object that brightens and then dims. If it is very bright long-lasting meteor then this light can exist for 5-10 seconds and can be brighter than any star. The possibility of seeing one of these is low during a meteror shower so the possibility of seeing a bright random meteor on this type of trajectory is lower still.

KaiYeves
2007-Sep-29, 06:12 PM
the men in black would tell you it was the reflection of venus on swamp gas
They will also have you disappeared if you say what's in the food while at Wendy's. ;-)

hhEb09'1
2007-Sep-29, 06:59 PM
There were no clouds in the sky and no helicopters nor any military operations were going around. From where I saw the object no high altitudes around. Anyways thats all the info i have. I do not know much about the horizon u r talking about. Also no airports around. No airports around?? where are you? :)

astromark
2007-Sep-29, 08:51 PM
Guys the moon was much bigger & clearly visible when i saw the bright object . There were no clouds in the sky and no helicopters nor any military operations were going around. From where I saw the object no high altitudes around. Anyways thats all the info i have. I do not know much about the horizon u r talking about. Also no airports around. I will continue watching the night skies for interesting things...Thank you for your answers

No Space101;... You can not know that there was not a helicopter with a strong light. you can not know there were no military aircraft. Look at what you have told us... No direction, no altitude. Without those facts we are in the dark. As are you.:) Do you know that a search and rescue helicopter was not at some distance from you at this time and its strong search light was pointing in your direction. A iridium flare, a meteor.
Its one thing to ask us what you saw.. Its another to tell us we are all wrong... You can not know that given the facts you have given us.

EvilEye
2007-Sep-29, 09:20 PM
A lost Mylar balloon reflecting city lights?

space101
2007-Sep-30, 01:32 AM
There is no airport in Pittsburg, CA. NO sounds of a helicopter or airplane and the light did not move. I kept looking even after the light dimmed out. I really do not know how to give an approx distance. Guys I told u all the info i could. Also I am not telling that u r all wrong. Infact am happy that u guys are letting me know what could the possibilities be. I am fairly new to this field of astronomy/space science & just loving it knowing more each day. The light I am talking about was really really bright and lasted for less than a minute may be 30- 40 seconds. I dont know for how long it was glowing before i even noticed...

space101
2007-Sep-30, 01:33 AM
I dont know the discription i gave fits for a mylar balloon

Neverfly
2007-Sep-30, 01:36 AM
There is no airport in Pittsburg, CA. NO sounds of a helicopter or airplane and the light did not move. I kept looking even after the light dimmed out. I really do not know how to give an approx distance. Guys I told u all the info i could. Also I am not telling that u r all wrong. Infact am happy that u guys are letting me know what could the possibilities be. I am fairly new to this field of astronomy/space science & just loving it knowing more each day. The light I am talking about was really really bright and lasted for less than a minute may be 30- 40 seconds. I dont know for how long it was glowing before i even noticed...

I lived in Concord California and seeing aircraft in the air wasn't unusual.

Also, the absence of noise doesn't rule out a helicopter.

Assuming it was, indeed outside, that atmosphere, it could have been any number of things as well. I'm too tired to theorize right now though:p.

EvilEye
2007-Sep-30, 01:39 AM
I dont know the discription i gave fits for a mylar balloon

Why not?

Do you have any idea how far away it was? What time was it? Which way was the wind blowing?

Maybe it wasn't even a mylar balloon. Maybe it was a blimp with advertising lights on the outside, and they turned them off?

We need more info.

Average things can look really freaky at night.

Kaptain K
2007-Sep-30, 02:02 AM
It could have been an Iridium flare. Go to Heavens-Above.com and enter your location and the date and it will tell you if there was one visible from your location.

JMV
2007-Sep-30, 03:26 AM
A lost Mylar balloon reflecting city lights?
Or a high altitude research balloon. I saw one some years ago. It was early morning, just before sunrise and the balloon was due west. It was so high that even though even though the sun hadn't risen yet at ground level, the balloon was bathed in sunlight. It was more brilliant and bigger than any star or planet and shaped like a light bulb. And it too was pale yellow, probably because of the sunlight scattering in atmosphere before striking it. It was on the newspapers the next day, because of the numerous UFO reportings it had incited... or was it on the radio the same day? My memory is a bit fuzzy on the details. If I remember correctly it had been launched from Kiruna Sweden the day before.

Here's (http://www.csbf.nasa.gov/pictures/inflation2.gif) a picture of one. They usually expand quite a bit when they ascent into thinner air.

hhEb09'1
2007-Sep-30, 05:34 AM
There is no airport in Pittsburg, CA.
Maybe not in Pittsburg, but you're not far from an airport. Still, I think Kaptain K has your answer. astromark mentioned it in his first post.

It could have been an Iridium flare. Go to Heavens-Above.com and enter your location and the date and it will tell you if there was one visible from your location.I had the same suspicion, although 30-40 seconds sounds long, but there was an Iridium flare in Pittsburg CA at 8:52pm on Sep. 26, almost due north, about 20 degrees in the sky. It would have been at least a -3 magnitude, maybe more (-7!) depending on just where space101 was. Probably not a coincidence, that's almost got to be what they saw, especially with the rapid extinction while remaining a dim point of light. Might not have been able to notice movement.

Kaptain K
2007-Sep-30, 06:27 AM
Solved!

KaiYeves
2007-Sep-30, 05:25 PM
I had the same suspicion, although 30-40 seconds sounds long, but there was an Iridium flare in Pittsburg CA at 8:52pm on Sep. 26, almost due north, about 20 degrees in the sky. It would have been at least a -3 magnitude, maybe more (-7!) depending on just where space101 was. Probably not a coincidence, that's almost got to be what they saw, especially with the rapid extinction while remaining a dim point of light. Might not have been able to notice movement.
Scooby Dooby Dooooooo!

knightrider82
2007-Oct-01, 01:36 AM
I'm new here folks but to back up space101 I'm in NC and saw the same thing about the same time and in the N/NW sky. more north. and it wasn't long like an iridium flare. it was perfectly round, started about the intensity of an average star, got almost brighter than any star or planet I have seen in about 40 sec and took about 15 sec to completely disappear. I was walking across my back yard and was walking almost 250 deg from due north and it was so bright that it caught my eye. I am not into astrology big or anything but I do enjoy checking out the planets and stuff at the local observatory and with my fathers telescope. I'm just not convinced after seeing pictures of iridium flares, that what I saw is what you think it is. I'm sorry for bringing the doubt to the table, especially being new to the table, but what I saw does not match or look relatively like any picture of an iridium flare that I have have been able to find. I've been wondering what the heck I saw and I'm glad that someone else saw it.

Neverfly
2007-Oct-01, 02:51 AM
blod mine:
I'm new here folks but to back up space101 I'm in NC and saw the same thing about the same time and in the N/NW sky. more north. and it wasn't long like an iridium flare. it was perfectly round, started about the intensity of an average star, got almost brighter than any star or planet I have seen in about 40 sec and took about 15 sec to completely disappear. I was walking across my back yard and was walking almost 250 deg from due north and it was so bright that it caught my eye. I am not into astrology big or anything but I do enjoy checking out the planets and stuff at the local observatory and with my fathers telescope. I'm just not convinced after seeing pictures of iridium flares, that what I saw is what you think it is. I'm sorry for bringing the doubt to the table, especially being new to the table, but what I saw does not match or look relatively like any picture of an iridium flare that I have have been able to find. I've been wondering what the heck I saw and I'm glad that someone else saw it.

Bold: Good, because neither are we;) But we ARE into astronomy:D

I'm sure we all would like to know what it was.

I had thought the iridium flare nailed it but bear in mind noone here wants just a satisfactory answer as much as a True answer.

hhEb09'1
2007-Oct-01, 03:45 AM
I'm new here folks but to back up space101 I'm in NC and saw the same thing about the same time and in the N/NW sky. more north. and it wasn't long like an iridium flare. it was perfectly round, Welcome to the BAUT, knightrider82!

I'm in NC too. What time, and where in NC? BTW, what do you mean by "it wasn't long like an iridium flare"? It occurred to me that that can be interpreted in more than a couple ways.

PS: You could be talking about "long" in terms of time, or it could be in terms of long rather than round. And it might mean "it wasn't long like an iridium flare is long" or "it wasn't long like an iridium flare is also not long".

eburacum45
2007-Oct-01, 04:13 AM
Iridium flares don't look like the images on the 'Net;
that is, they don't look like this
http://www.randybrewer.net/images/Digital-Images/IridiumFlare-8.jpg
That is a time-lapse photo, and makes the satellite look like a streak because it is moving. In fact Iridium satellites look like dots; they start off dim, thn become bright, then go dim again.

The satellites do move steadily across the sky, but it is sometimes possible to fail to notice this movement apparently.

space101
2007-Oct-01, 05:04 AM
Hi Knightrider,
Good that u saw what I saw!!! Yes I too saw the picture of iridium flare in the link.The thing I saw was more round...and definitely not long. So still not able to
figure out..

Neverfly
2007-Oct-01, 05:27 AM
Hi Knightrider,
Good that u saw what I saw!!! Yes I too saw the picture of iridium flare in the link.The thing I saw was more round...and definitely not long. So still not able to
figure out..

The picture is a Camera Exposure of a night sky with a flare. Not the same as witnessing it.,
Please bear this in mind...

astromark
2007-Oct-01, 06:46 AM
As Neverfly has tried to tell you I shall continue with. This image you perceive as a long... is not. That image as most, shows the brief life of that we call iridium flares. It is not what you see if looking straight down the flight path of the iridium satellite which is responsible for the sunlight reflection you see. A long exposure captures the whole of the light image. which could be some seconds long. After the most recant posts of the OP I would say it was a iridium flare. I can only recommend a visit to 'heavens above.com. All will become clear. mark.

knightrider82
2007-Oct-01, 10:58 AM
-I'm in the Hickory area
-I appreciate the enlightenment on the fact that those are time lapse that explains the "long" look.
-and honestly I couldn't tell you exactly what time but I will venture to guess that it was about 11ish.
-thanks for listening and not slamming me. alot of forums and message boards are not so kind. I will check out the website mentioned.

NEOWatcher
2007-Oct-01, 12:55 PM
-I'm in the Hickory area
The fact that you saw the same thing as somebody in CA, is very much coincidence. The altitude would be extreme (thousands of miles) for both of you to see the same thing. And if that were the case, it would be a phenomenom that many experts would have seen and would have come out all over the news.

I can buy the helicopter/aircraft thing because I have seen many without hearing them (probably due to atmospheric conditions and distance).

An Iridium (or other) flare is likely too. The first time I saw one, I caught it purely by chance, and before I knew what it was. Certainly perplexing.


-I appreciate the enlightenment on the fact that those are time lapse that explains the "long" look.
A video search on google will reveal some good videos, which is the best way to show without the time lapse effect.
this one is a long one (http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-3102606036258796832&q=iridium+flare&total=18&start=0&num=10&so=0&type=search&plindex=0) (and shows relative to stars)
this one is in daylight (http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-9106639078192022822&q=iridium+flare&total=18&start=0&num=10&so=0&type=search&plindex=7) (showing just how bright they can be)
this one is quick (http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-3825399954743398563&q=iridium+flare&total=18&start=0&num=10&so=0&type=search&plindex=8) (but has a tree in frame for perspective)

hhEb09'1
2007-Oct-01, 01:37 PM
-and honestly I couldn't tell you exactly what time but I will venture to guess that it was about 11ish.The thing mentioned in the OP occurred at "around 8:45pm CA time" which means 12ish in Carolina. So, you may have seen something similar, but you probably didn't see the same event.

And if it was an Iridium flare, those are fairly localized. They are a mirror reflection of the sunlight, bounced off the panels of the satellites. If you were to move just a few kilometers away, its intensity would be greatly diminished. I checked the Heavens Above website (http://www.heavens-above.com/) for Hickory NC (lat: 35.73N lon: 81.33W) that night, and didn't find any significant Iridium flares though, sorry.


-thanks for listening and not slamming me. alot of forums and message boards are not so kind. I will check out the website mentioned.Good luck!

eburacum45
2007-Oct-01, 02:09 PM
Sorry; I just realised my terminology was wrong. Time lapse photography is a technique where each frame of a moving frame is captured at a rate much slower than it will be played back.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time-lapse

Those images of iridium flares are actually a single lomg-exposre; the camera aperture is opened fo a long time, and moving object will leave a streak. Actaully the best images of iridium flares are captured with a camera which moves very slowly, so that it is stationary with respect to the stars (but not stationary when compared to a moving satellite, which will then appear as a streak).
See Equatorial Mount
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equatorial_mount

A silly mistake, and my brother who is a photographer would be annoyed.

NEOWatcher
2007-Oct-01, 02:36 PM
Sorry; I just realised my terminology was wrong...
I thought that sounded funny... I didn't take the time to think it through myself, because somehow the context cleared it up in my mind. :rolleyes:

space101
2007-Oct-01, 03:22 PM
hmm so may be it was an Iridium flare....thanx guys

hhEb09'1
2007-Oct-01, 03:38 PM
hmm so may be it was an Iridium flare....thanx guysyw

This might be impressive. Get out at 5:30am on October 8, and look towards the south, a little west, high in the sky. Around 5:34:25 (it'll vary depending which part of Pittsburg you're in, but set your watch (http://www.time.gov/)), there should be a very bright Iridium flare. Could be even brighter than the one you saw.

space101
2007-Oct-01, 06:08 PM
Ya right....r u serious

hhEb09'1
2007-Oct-01, 06:43 PM
Ya right....r u seriousI'm serious.

Do you mean, is it that predictable? It is. They know the orbits, and how fast the spacecraft are rotating, and what angle their panels are set. And at that time next week (let's check back the day before to make sure that something hasn't been done to change that), Pittsburg CA will be hit by an intense reflection of the sun--magnitude -8. If you happen to be in the middle of the beam, it's pretty impressive. It might be 100 times as bright as the one you saw.

NEOWatcher
2007-Oct-01, 06:55 PM
I'm serious.

Do you mean, is it that predictable?
I wonder if he means that if you're serious he should get up at 5:30 in the morning.

hhEb09'1
2007-Oct-01, 07:04 PM
I wonder if he means that if you're serious he should get up at 5:30 in the morning.That was my first thought! :)

space101
2007-Oct-01, 07:29 PM
:lol:

knightrider82
2007-Oct-01, 11:43 PM
Hmmmmm? I went on the heavens above website and like was mentioned, the spot to see a flare could only be tens of kilometers in diameter. there is no possible way that we could have seen the same thing. but now it has me wondering.........I know I'm not crazy. I ran in to tell my wife as soon as I saw it. I'll keep digging. thanks.

mugaliens
2007-Oct-02, 01:22 PM
There is no airport in Pittsburg, CA.

Actually, there are about ten within a 20 mile radius.


NO sounds of a helicopter or airplane

You can't hear airplanes passing directly overhead just seven miles up. Big noisy jets but the sound just doesn't reach the ground in sufficient quantities for your ears to register it.

You certainly can't hear one 20 miles away, but you can certainly see it.


...the light did not move.

I used to watch aircraft in the desert descending and the lights didn't move, either, for like five minutes, because they were descending directly towards me. When they turned away, they all but totally disappeared.


I really do not know how to give an approx distance.

That would be difficult unless you're familiar with the aircraft involved.


Guys I told u all the info i could.

Actually, you haven't, which is why people keep asking you questions!

Like:

1. What direction were you looking? North? East? South? West?

2. What was the angle of the light above the horizon? About 20 degrees? 45? 60?

3. What time of day or night was it? Was it bright? Dark? Dusk?

4. How long did you observed the light before it dimmed out?

All of these questions can be easily answered by you (so please do) and would help us pin down what it might have been.


In fact I am happy that u guys are letting me know what could the possibilities be.

We can't offer you much more than pure speculation if you keep refusing to cough up some answers.


I am fairly new to this field of astronomy/space science & just loving it knowing more each day.

Terrific! One of the joys of astronomy is observing things, noting details, the kind that we keep asking you about...


The light I am talking about was really really bright and lasted for less than a minute may be 30- 40 seconds. I dont know for how long it was glowing before i even noticed...

Aha!

Sounds to me like an aircraft in descent, particularly if it were dusk, as it would have it's landing light on (FAA highly recommended technique for aircraft arriving or departing any terminal approach area).

hhEb09'1
2007-Oct-02, 01:56 PM
Guys I told u all the info i could. Actually, you haven't, which is why people keep asking you questions!

Like:

1. What direction were you looking? North? East? South? West?

2. What was the angle of the light above the horizon? About 20 degrees? 45? 60?

3. What time of day or night was it? Was it bright? Dark? Dusk?

4. How long did you observed the light before it dimmed out?

All of these questions can be easily answered by you (so please do) and would help us pin down what it might have been.

In fact I am happy that u guys are letting me know what could the possibilities be.
We can't offer you much more than pure speculation if you keep refusing to cough up some answers.
I don't think space101 was refusing to answer questions. space101 supplied answers to all of those questions within the first twenty posts to this thread, except maybe question 2 but I was able to infer that the object was much closer to the horizon than the zenith.

space101
2007-Oct-02, 03:36 PM
Mugaliens,
U can check all my posts on this thread and i gave all the info u have shortlisted!!! Now what:think:

space101
2007-Oct-02, 03:40 PM
Just kidding.........I actually never settle unless I am convinced. So right now the question still hangs in my mind......What did I see? So I think I will keep exploring for a convincing answer..:)

hhEb09'1
2007-Oct-02, 03:58 PM
Just kidding.........I actually never settle unless I am convinced. So right now the question still hangs in my mind......What did I see? So I think I will keep exploring for a convincing answer..Why do you think that an Iridium flare is not a convincing answer?

mugaliens
2007-Oct-02, 04:28 PM
hmm so may be it was an Iridium flare....thanx guys

Don't think so. Iridium flares (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iridium_flare)have very distinct movement to them. Your report indicated that what you saw was motionless.

NEOWatcher
2007-Oct-02, 04:41 PM
Just kidding.........I actually never settle unless I am convinced. So right now the question still hangs in my mind......What did I see? So I think I will keep exploring for a convincing answer..:)
Sometimes, you just need to bite the bullet, and accept that you will not verify an answer, but be satisfied with the thought that it most likely explainable, and that you have gained knowledge to know what to consider the next time.

mugaliens
2007-Oct-02, 05:14 PM
Mugaliens,
U can check all my posts on this thread and i gave all the info u have shortlisted!!! Now what:think:

Ok. I'm doing some research, going back over all your posts in this thread...

...Here's a summary of the information you've provided thus far:

1. Time: 8:45 pm
2. Location: Pittsburg, CA
3. Date: September 26, 2007
4. You stated that it was "night."

Thus far, here's what we have:

Astronomy for Pittsburg, CA on September 26, 2007:
Sunrise and Set:
Actual Time: 6:59 AM PDT 6:59 PM PDT
Civil Twilight: 6:33 AM PDT 7:25 PM PDT
Nautical Twilight: 6:02 AM PDT 7:56 PM PDT
Astronomical Twilight: 5:31 AM PDT 8:26 PM PDT
Moon: 6:53 PM PDT (9/26) 6:47 AM PDT (9/26)

Thus, it was reasonably dark but the moon had risen, and it full, in the Eastern sky, having risen just a little more than an hour earlier.

Back to the object:

5. Illumination: Brilliantly bright, glowing
6. Size: as big as a flourescent bulb, "exceptionally big", but "the moon was much bigger"

Right here I can tell you it most certainly was not an iridium flare, as they appear at pinpoints of light, not as "big as a flourescent bulb."

7. Duration: around a minute ("the brightness disappeared slowly in a minute"), and "possibly 30-40 seconds
8. Your personal opinion: "definately not an airplane"
9. Direction: North
10. Sounds: None

That's pretty much it.

Conclusions:

1. Based on the dimensions alone, we can rule out an Iridium flare, meteor, or astronomical event. Besides, if it were the latter, I'm sure someone from this board would have been all over that one by now.

2. You said it was definately not an airplane, so I'll give you that one, as well.

3. You expressed doubts that it was some kind of balloon, and I suspect you're right on that one, too.

That leaves...

A contrail.

Contrails can be exceptionally bright shortly after civil twilight, as the sun still illuminates the contrail, located high above the darkened land below. They're often not stretching over the sky but can exist for very short distances as the aircraft passes through a local variation in temperature conducive to the formation of contrails. This would appear like a flourescent tube, of a slight indistinct shape, but fairly straight, and can easily be smaller than the moon (angular length). Given the brightness and short duration, it wouldn't appear to be a contrail, but rather, a glowing rod of short duration in the night sky.

Furthermore, given the right conditions, they can rapidly fade from existence (30-40 seconds) as you reported.

hhEb09'1
2007-Oct-02, 06:15 PM
6. Size: as big as a flourescent bulb, "exceptionally big", but "the moon was much bigger"

Right here I can tell you it most certainly was not an iridium flare, as they appear at pinpoints of light, not as "big as a flourescent bulb."And, the moon is much bigger than a flourescent bulb :)

Inexperienced observors often report bright objects as having disks. The most common source of UFO sightings, disk and all, is Venus--and Iridium flares can get much brighter than Venus.

DaveC426913
2007-Oct-07, 10:36 PM
There is no airport in Pittsburg, CA. NO sounds of a helicopter or airplane and the light did not move. I kept looking even after the light dimmed out. The light I am talking about was really really bright and lasted for less than a minute may be 30- 40 seconds.

A helipcopter could be miles away - easily far enough away that you couldn't hear it - and you'd still see the searchlight quite bright.

The reason I mentioned helicopters is because they do hover in their normal operations, and when they decide to move, if they were moving towards you, (which is likely if the searchlight is facing forward) you would have great difficulty spotting the motion.

30-40 seonds makes perfect sense too. They'll be looking for something, and then turn and the searchlight just fades away.

As for mylar balloons - sure... But as the saying goes ... when you hear hoofbeats, think horses before zebras.

So far, the description does match a helicopter pretty well, and there seems to be no part of the sighting description that is inconsistent with helicopter.