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Observing >> Variable Star Observing and Radio Astronomy

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Nick Rose
super member

Reged: 11/01/10

Loc: San Mateo, CA
Possible SN ????
      #5683616 - 02/16/13 02:16 PM

Last night while I was setting up my telescope to capture 2012 DA14 on it's way out I was looking towards Polaris and noticed something. There was a bright pinpoint flash about 10 +/- 5 deg. to the right of Polaris. It was not a meteor or satellite since it did not move. The brightness was about the same as Polaris or a little bit brighter and it only lasted 1-2sec. I want to say it is a possible SN but I thought they stay bright for several days or weeks.

What was this????

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Reged: 02/25/09

Loc: 55.215N 6.554W
Re: Possible SN ???? new [Re: Nick Rose]
      #5684024 - 02/16/13 06:30 PM

Most likely a satellite flare; reflection from solar panels. Flares from the Iridium satellites can reach mag. -7 but smaller or more distant satellites can be much fainter.

Even gamma ray bursters remain "bright" optically for longer than a couple of seconds, but mag. 2 would be tens of times brighter than any other GRB recorded.

The next most likely after a satellite flare is an ordinary meteor seen head on so no or very little apparent motion in the sky.

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