Return to the Cloudy Nights Telescope Reviews home pageAstronomics discounts for Cloudy Nights members
· Get a Cloudy Nights T-Shirt · Submit a Review / Article

Click here if you are having trouble logging into the forums

Privacy Policy | Please read our Terms of Service | Signup and Troubleshooting FAQ | Problems? PM a Red or a Green Gu… uh, User

General Astronomy >> Beginners Forum

Pages: 1 | 2 | (show all)
stevethatsmyname
sage


Reged: 12/10/09

Possible nova on Saturday near Polaris?
      #4034382 - 09/08/10 04:34 PM

My friend was stargazing at the grand canyon this last Saturday (the 5th) , and reported that he saw a star near polaris, noticably brighter than polaris but not too much brighter (so figure 1 magnitude brighter, or ~mag1 ish). It was steady (not moving, not really changing brightness much). He looked back later and it was gone. It was near polaris, maybe about as close as one of the little dipper stars. Was wonding if anyone can think of any phenomenon that this could be? some type of variable star or nova or something?

Edited by stevethatsmyname (09/08/10 04:41 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
TMK
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 12/30/08

Loc: A Cloudy Place
Re: Possible nova on Saturday near Polaris? new [Re: stevethatsmyname]
      #4034443 - 09/08/10 04:59 PM

My guess? Satellite.

I've seen this on several occasions. It looks like a bright star that flares up out of nowhere for about five to ten seconds and then fades to nothing. On each and every occasion I never could detect any movement.

Edited by nobody special (09/08/10 05:03 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
johnnyha
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 11/12/06

Loc: Sherman Oaks, CA
Re: Possible nova on Saturday near Polaris? new [Re: TMK]
      #4034464 - 09/08/10 05:06 PM

Flying saucer?

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
rdandrea
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 06/13/10

Loc: Colorado, USA DM59ra
Re: Possible nova on Saturday near Polaris? new [Re: stevethatsmyname]
      #4034494 - 09/08/10 05:24 PM

I saw this Saturday night also. Below Polaris from my location, which is really not all that far (a couple hundred miles North) from Grand Canyon. Very bright, glowed on twice and off twice while I was watching. It was moving very slowly, easy to think it was stationary.

An item passing nearest to that time according to Heavens Above was an old Agena booster--a large piece of space junk. If it was tumbling, that would account for the behavior.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Achernar
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 02/25/06

Loc: Mobile, Alabama, USA
Re: Possible nova on Saturday near Polaris? new [Re: stevethatsmyname]
      #4034602 - 09/08/10 06:34 PM

Assuming it wasn't a distant aircraft, it's most likely a glint of sunlight off of a satellite, or more likely a defunct spacecraft or spent rocket stage. There's many more of those in orbit than active, working spacecraft and satellites, and I've seen as many as twelve of these objects each night I observed. Some are definitely debris because they slowly flash as though they are tumbling or spinning. Sometimes they slowly pass through my telescope's field of view, and once a geostationary satellite became a very bright "new star" that did not move as the Earth rotates, which showed it to be a geostationary satellite. If it was a nova, it would still be visible right now, even though they can flare up from their former faintness to a luminosity up to 500,000 times greater than the Sun before they start to fade. Novae can flare up incredibly quickly, in as little as 24 hours they can reach maximum brilliance, but others can stay bright for weeks on end before they start to fade back to normal. Novae can fade very quickly, in a matter of weeks but they do not fade away during one night.

Taras


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: Possible nova on Saturday near Polaris? new [Re: Achernar]
      #4034623 - 09/08/10 06:43 PM

Actually, I confess...it was my peoples' mother ship. Now that the cat's out of the bag, please take me to your leader.

- Jim


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
David Castillo
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 09/09/06

Loc: Carmel Valley, Ca
Re: Possible nova on Saturday near Polaris? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #4034643 - 09/08/10 06:51 PM

That's "Klaatu Barada Nikto" to you Jim.
----
Dave


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
johnnyha
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 11/12/06

Loc: Sherman Oaks, CA
Re: Possible nova on Saturday near Polaris? new [Re: David Castillo]
      #4034766 - 09/08/10 07:47 PM

Yep. Flyin' saucer.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
stevethatsmyname
sage


Reged: 12/10/09

Re: Possible nova on Saturday near Polaris? new [Re: rdandrea]
      #4035003 - 09/08/10 09:40 PM

Quote:

I saw this Saturday night also. Below Polaris from my location, which is really not all that far (a couple hundred miles North) from Grand Canyon. Very bright, glowed on twice and off twice while I was watching. It was moving very slowly, easy to think it was stationary.

An item passing nearest to that time according to Heavens Above was an old Agena booster--a large piece of space junk. If it was tumbling, that would account for the behavior.




Thanks, randrea, interesting to see that someone else observed the same thing! Any idea what altitude the Agena booster would be at? One would think that if it was in LEO ~300 miles or so, the motion would be apparent. The satellites I've seen, the motion was apparent in real time.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Tony Flanders
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/18/06

Loc: Cambridge, MA, USA
Re: Possible nova on Saturday near Polaris? new [Re: stevethatsmyname]
      #4035614 - 09/09/10 05:44 AM

Sounds to me like an Iridium flare. Iridium satellites do indeed move, but they're in higher orbit than the great majority of satellites that you see. So the first few times I saw Iridium flares, I thought they were stationary.

Nothing known in nature flares on this timescale.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
epee
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/30/06

Loc: Suh-van-nuh, Jaw-juh
Re: Possible nova on Saturday near Polaris? new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #4035748 - 09/09/10 08:02 AM

There is an old 1980's Soviet booster that travels south-to-north and is fairly bright, about 2-3 mag. It is appearantly in a high orbit so that it moves slowly, about half the speed of a commercial jet, across the sky. And, because it appears to travel in a straight line, it becomes almost motionless at the extreme northern end of its path and slowly fades from view.

It's caught me a few time while walking north in the early morning, "what's that bright star? There are no stars that bright there!" then it fades out in a few seconds.

Edited by epee (09/09/10 08:03 AM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
hfjacinto
I think he's got it!
*****

Reged: 01/12/09

Loc: Land of clouds and LP
Re: Possible nova on Saturday near Polaris? new [Re: epee]
      #4035759 - 09/09/10 08:18 AM

I once saw a nova in M86, I was wrong also. Not as bad as my friend, at a star party I had on the owl or et cluster (caldwell 13) and he looks through my scope and says he discovered it, when he found out its been around for a while he was totally surprised.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
JT5
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 11/08/07

Loc: Ozarks of Missouri
Re: Possible nova on Saturday near Polaris? new [Re: hfjacinto]
      #4035772 - 09/09/10 08:30 AM

HeavensAbove is a website that gives up to date info on Satellites and Iridium flares. If you are not registered you will need to register including your location. They use this ONLY to provide data time data that is exact for your location.

John


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
D_talley
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 07/07/05

Loc: Richmond VA
Re: Possible nova on Saturday near Polaris? new [Re: JT5]
      #4035792 - 09/09/10 08:48 AM

There was an iridium flare listed for that location. I tried to see it but did not. I guess it was further west than me.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Scopyfrank
999 Forever
*****

Reged: 08/29/08

Loc: Luxembourg
Re: Possible nova on Saturday near Polaris? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #4036249 - 09/09/10 12:48 PM

Quote:

Actually, I confess...it was my peoples' mother ship. Now that the cat's out of the bag, please take me to your leader.

- Jim




Actually we have no more leader, but don't tell to your people, PLEASE!


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
rdandrea
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 06/13/10

Loc: Colorado, USA DM59ra
Re: Possible nova on Saturday near Polaris? new [Re: stevethatsmyname]
      #4036321 - 09/09/10 01:19 PM

No idea about the height. By the way I went back and checked for Iridium flares at the time I have in my notes (about 21:29 MDT) and there were no flares predicted. And Saturday was the 4th, not the 5th. See if you can get more accurate date/time information from your friend.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Bill Llano
member
*****

Reged: 04/20/10

Re: Possible nova on Saturday near Polaris? new [Re: rdandrea]
      #4037413 - 09/09/10 09:30 PM

I would say that it was an on coming meteor(Straight at you), or a satellite reflection, or possible iridium satellite.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: Possible nova on Saturday near Polaris? new [Re: Scopyfrank]
      #4038332 - 09/10/10 11:29 AM

Hey man, that's cool. We're just stopping by to usher in the Age of Aquarius. Peace, love and plenty. No war, no pollution, universal health care globally, safe, inexpensive, renewable energy. You know...pulling Earth out of primitive, superstitious barbarism into true "civil"-ization?



Regards,

Jim


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Umberto De Boni
member


Reged: 12/08/07

Loc: Ontario Canada
Re: Possible nova on Saturday near Polaris? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #4038855 - 09/10/10 03:45 PM Attachment (21 downloads)

I was imaging "Star Trails", 9:55p.m. local time (Eastern DST), and upon downloading the images (two at 30 min. exp. each) noticed the bright object near polaris. Is this what you are talking about?

Umberto


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Umberto De Boni
member


Reged: 12/08/07

Loc: Ontario Canada
Re: Possible nova on Saturday near Polaris? new [Re: Umberto De Boni]
      #4038862 - 09/10/10 03:48 PM

Sorry, I should have added the date: Aug. 31, 2010.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Pages: 1 | 2 | (show all)


Extra information
6 registered and 25 anonymous users are browsing this forum.

Moderator:  zjc26138, WOBentley, kkokkolis 

Print Thread

Forum Permissions
      You cannot start new topics
      You cannot reply to topics
      HTML is disabled
      UBBCode is enabled


Thread views: 1285

Jump to

CN Forums Home


Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics