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Thread: Moving Stars and Mass Hysteria

  1. #61
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    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.

  2. #62
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    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

  3. #63
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    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.

  4. #64
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    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.

  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedRonin View Post
    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?

    Quote Originally Posted by RedRonin View Post
    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

  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedRonin View Post
    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.

  7. #67
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    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.

    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

  8. #68
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    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.

  9. #69
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    Thumbs up

    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.

  10. #70
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    Cool

    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.

  11. #71
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    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.

  12. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by eburacum45 View Post
    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"?

  13. #73
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    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?

  14. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bramblecutter View Post
    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

  15. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Root
    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?

  16. #76
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    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?

  17. #77
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    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
    Hey, you! "It's" with an apostrophe means "it is" or "it has." "Its" without an apostrophe means "belongs to it."

    "For shame, gentlemen, pack your evidence a little better against another time."
    -- John Dryden, "The Vindication of The Duke of Guise" 1684

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  18. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by ni01 View Post
    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)
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  19. #79
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    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ni01 View Post
    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.
    0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 ...
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  21. #81
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    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

  22. #82
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    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?
    Last edited by mikepisces7; 2009-Jun-15 at 08:05 PM. Reason: they flew right through the handle of the big dipper

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bramblecutter View Post
    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?

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    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.
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  25. #85
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    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.
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

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    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

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    slow moving stars

    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mcrone View Post
    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.

  29. #89
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    New Mexico
    Posts
    464
    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.

  30. #90
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    6
    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.

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