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Have you seen strange things in the sky while observing?

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#1 Flyingsnow

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Posted 26 May 2019 - 11:09 PM

February 17th 16:47 est, I was observing the moon and while trying to achieve focus lock on my iPhone I see something transit the moon. So i hit the shutter button and this is what I got. Look to the far left middle of the first image. This squarish dark object was moving toward the bottom left of the image. The first image is the original and the second image is a cropped version. Could this be a meteor or some sort of space junk? If it was burning up in the atmosphere wouldn’t there be a smoke trail? Is the pinkish part a sign of propulsion I’d say it were a UFO? Am I posting this on the wrong forum, should I be sending this MUFON?

Thoughts??

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#2 RadioAstronomer

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Posted 26 May 2019 - 11:27 PM

I saw this exact same object a week and a half or so ago while observing the Moon at night. An object with that same shape (and looking at your picture, the same size) crossed the disk of the Moon. Your picture shows a red color but I just saw its black shadow. It took about 20 seconds to cross the Moon's disc. Because of it's shape I assumed it was a weather Balloon, but it's steady and fast E-W motion suggested otherwise. Honestly I don't know what it was.


Edited by RadioAstronomer, 26 May 2019 - 11:32 PM.

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#3 Flyingsnow

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Posted 26 May 2019 - 11:30 PM

This is a higher quality image of the large image

 

gallery_281105_9885_1247237.jpeg



#4 Flyingsnow

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Posted 26 May 2019 - 11:32 PM

I saw this exact same object a week and a half or so ago while observing the Moon at night. An object with that same shape (and looking at your picture, the same size) crossed the disk of the Moon. Your picture shows a red color but I just saw its black shadow. It took about 20 seconds to cross the Moon's disc. Because of it's shape I assumed it was a weather Balloon, but it's E-W motion suggest otherwise. Honestly I don't know what it was.

Are weather balloons usually squarish? Also this object was falling toward the earth 


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#5 RadioAstronomer

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Posted 26 May 2019 - 11:37 PM

Are weather balloons usually squarish? Also this object was falling toward the earth 

 

See this image: https://encrypted-tb...XDri-L77UKuskPQ

 

Depending on the perspective and when not fully inflated (at low altitudes) they can look pretty square-ish.


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#6 Flyingsnow

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Posted 27 May 2019 - 12:03 AM

See this image: https://encrypted-tb...XDri-L77UKuskPQ

 

Depending on the perspective and when not fully inflated (at low altitudes) they can look pretty square-ish.

That’s interesting but I don’t think that’s what either of us saw 



#7 james7ca

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Posted 27 May 2019 - 12:56 AM

It's spring and the air is full of birds (bats?) and insects. During the last month or two and on every night that I've been out imaging the moon I've seen objects pass quickly across the moon. Most are probably just flying animals, although I guess it would be possible to catch a balloon now and then (rarely).


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#8 cuzimthedad  Happy Birthday!

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Posted 27 May 2019 - 01:17 AM

Borg cube. Just sayin...


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#9 TOMDEY

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Posted 27 May 2019 - 01:57 AM

Borg cube. Just sayin...

I found images of a Borg Cube mixed in with some subs of the moon, on May the 18th.  I co-added those subs, referenced to the cube. With some sharpening, the image clearly revealed little Picards sticking out of the cube!    Tom


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#10 t_image

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Posted 27 May 2019 - 02:11 AM

That’s interesting but I don’t think that’s what either of us saw 

I appreciate your curiosity.

Truth is there are lots of threads on here the pop up from time to time with stories or even better, images of things that transit the Moon or the Sun while the observer was imaging/observing.....


I just saw some nice "Mother's Day" aluminum helium balloons about beach ball size but cube-like in the store earlier this month. But of course in your case the date would suggest "Valentine's Day."

On one thread the conclusion of the image was a plastic bag caught in wind..


I've caught numerous toy balloons transiting the Sun, like this video I shot:

https://www.youtube....h?v=BHYILrTwxmI


I've also talked to a commercial airline pilot who has confirmed these toy balloons (aluminum) can reach high altitudes FWIW....

Here's what you can know for sure:

 

  •  from the obvious angular diameter of the object compared with the Moon (large angular diameter), it could not be an object in orbit. Orbiting objects would be less than 2 arcseconds across.....(except for ISS that can get up to 60arcseconds at most).

 

  • Objects in re-entry won't be "floating" and have a distinct visual signature (like you predicted with smoke, also multiple fragments)...
  • Therefore it is a terrestrial object.

Then it is a matter of considering a small object doesn't have to be too far away to visibly transit Sun/Moon.

I do a lot of filming the Sun during the day, so my video captures are more silhouettes.


Here's a hawk that lives quite less than a mile away from my viewing spot that photobombed my video:

Hawk in front of Ha Sun

 

  •     Any type of Earth-tech propulsion (fire) would be brighter than the Moon in a photo...

 

  •     Also from your reported time and location the Moon was 35 degrees from the horizon, so not completely overhead---More often closer-to-horizon terrestrial transits are more common.....

 

  •     If you search for all the assortment of aluminum toy balloons for Valentine's Day, I bet you'd find one the same shape....
  • So most probably a child lost hold of mom's fancy V-Day balloon she probably passed on to the child since it had it's worth a few days before.It then fortuitously floated up and by the Moon (a bit of distance away from your scope). I'm sure if you do DOF calculations with your gear you'll see it would be easy to have both in focus...

The best chance of actually capturing something "other-worldly" is if we sharpen our observation and analysis skills to disregard the common stuff.....


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#11 Flyingsnow

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Posted 27 May 2019 - 05:56 AM

I like the balloon ideas however this object was moving in a downward projection, not up. I’ve witnessed many plane and bird and insect transits while observing and this object crossed the lunar disk at about the speed of a plane and moving, in regards to the image, NE to SW.

#12 Flyingsnow

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Posted 27 May 2019 - 05:58 AM

I’ve imaged quite a few plane transits too

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#13 Vondragonnoggin

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Posted 27 May 2019 - 06:14 AM

I see birds all the time using Night Vision eyepieces. Birds, jets, satellites, bugs.

 

All of them explainable so far.....

 

If I ever do see something truly unexplainable, I will resort to “swamp gas from a weather balloon reflecting off the light of Venus” as my answer.

 

I don’t need to be “flashy thing’ed” again.


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#14 barbarosa

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Posted 27 May 2019 - 12:28 PM

I like the balloon ideas however this object was moving in a downward projection, not up. I’ve witnessed many plane and bird and insect transits while observing and this object crossed the lunar disk at about the speed of a plane and moving, in regards to the image, NE to SW.

"I like the balloon ideas however this object was moving in a downward projection, not up."  Downward in that context implies toward the earth.  How can you know that? You do not know the nature of the object, or the dimensions or the velocity or the distance, except that it was closer than the moon.

 

You could say it moved "in a downward projection"  that is from higher to lower only if you had other information, such as Doppler radar tracking. 

 

This is the inherent problem with all sightings of unknown objects, they cannot be put into a useful frame of reference. From the information available it could have been a Borg cube, a balloon, or a secret NSA drone, or X. By experience, education and training we rule out the Borg, but I make no odds on the others.borg.gif


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#15 Flyingsnow

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Posted 27 May 2019 - 12:49 PM

Very well stated Barbarosa. Objects in he sky can be tricky to decipher in size and direction of movement, without any real reference. 


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#16 epee

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Posted 28 May 2019 - 08:04 AM

The one time I spotted a weather balloon in my XT12, I was a bit freaked out for a while. The balloon bag itself did resemble the object in the photo; an undulating brownish blob, with highlights on top. While the balloon I saw never assumed a shape as square that shown, it might have photographed as such, assuming that you caught it at the prefect split-second.

 

The reason I was able to identify my object as a balloon was due to the fact it had a the instrument box and parachute still attached (which gave the initial impression of three objects in formation). The instrument box appearing as a small, hard, angular shape and the parachute bundle as an even smaller, somewhat fluttery object.

 

My guess is that the object in the photo is a weather balloon that has jettisoned its parachute and instrument package. 


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#17 Jon_Doh

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Posted 28 May 2019 - 09:21 AM

Every unidentified object since Roswell has been a "weather balloon".  If this object was a falling "weather balloon" they how could two people see it at two completely different times?  I wonder if the module Apollo 10 left circling the moon is still around and that's what the OP saw?


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#18 epee

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Posted 28 May 2019 - 10:25 AM

Weather balloons are launched from multiple locations multiple times a week. 



#19 t_image

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Posted 28 May 2019 - 08:44 PM

Every unidentified object since Roswell has been a "weather balloon".  If this object was a falling "weather balloon" they how could two people see it at two completely different times?  I wonder if the module Apollo 10 left circling the moon is still around and that's what the OP saw?

lol.gif I think of that every time (UFO) I offer it as an explanation.

But like Vondragon mentioned, don't forget Venus and swamp gas!!! Or his clever solution of a swamp-gas filled weather balloon reflecting the light off of Venus!-now that's original.....

 

You can search for your nearest NWS location and see the typical launch schedule.

https://www.weather....weatherballoons

 

My explanation was a store-bought fancy cubic aluminum balloon, a Valentine's Day one for the February sighting and ironically the May (a week and a half ago) fits perfectly with after Mother's Day---also fitting for a pink or red balloon.....

 

And the "falling" concept was already deconstructed....The directional observation is only useful if the observer tracked the object for a lengthy period of time, especially if it reached horizon. That doesn't seem to be the statement of the OP.....

Winds can move balloons in any direction. Ever flown a kit?????

 

Someday when I have time I'll go out and catch video of a W-B launch and try some vantage point shots to show variations in appearance....

I have, for example,

footage of planes that appear to go one direction and then immediately appear to go the complete opposite direction.....

Obviously it is just a perspective trick where they are just turning on approach,

but from my camera vantage point it doesn't look like such at all......

 

 

FWIW,

here's a guy that has taken some good footage of weather balloon transits he shot himself and has started his own cult:

https://www.youtube....h?v=W8SF9yuBxGM

Interesting he got all the footage when he lived in CA (probably near a NWS launch site),

and hasn't gotten any since he moved to Delaware (probably now not near a NWS balloon path)...

I'm sure he'll blame East Coast Chemtrails though........


Edited by t_image, 28 May 2019 - 08:47 PM.

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#20 Keith Rivich

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Posted 28 May 2019 - 09:07 PM

The one time I spotted a weather balloon in my XT12, I was a bit freaked out for a while. The balloon bag itself did resemble the object in the photo; an undulating brownish blob, with highlights on top. While the balloon I saw never assumed a shape as square that shown, it might have photographed as such, assuming that you caught it at the prefect split-second.

 

The reason I was able to identify my object as a balloon was due to the fact it had a the instrument box and parachute still attached (which gave the initial impression of three objects in formation). The instrument box appearing as a small, hard, angular shape and the parachute bundle as an even smaller, somewhat fluttery object.

 

My guess is that the object in the photo is a weather balloon that has jettisoned its parachute and instrument package. 

My first experience with a weather balloon was 20 or so years ago. I had set up my 12 1/2 and after collimating I went for the moon, in the daytime of course. Looking in the eyepiece I noticed a very strange looking object drifting through the field.

 

Long story short it was a weather balloon, launched from Bay City, Texas. The reason it looked weird was because it was upside down in the eyepiece. Duh!


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#21 tchandler

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Posted 29 May 2019 - 04:31 AM

After decades of looking skyward, you'd think if there were something third-kindish to see, that I would ultimately see something, but so far, no dice. Only meteors, including a couple (seen at two different times) that moved a little faster than an aircraft and had sparks of debris breaking off them as they crossed the sky. When I told my father about one of them, he refused to believe my account.

 

However...

 

On a clear summer evening around 1960, my mother was in her vegetable garden with her father. While she was kneeling down to weed, her dad suddenly shouted: "Look! What's that?" By the time my mother turned she was only able to catch a flash of silver (lit by the setting sun) that vanished out of sight. My grandfather, a pragmatic, matter-of-fact gentleman, was somewhat shaken and when my mother pressed him, he never really wanted to talk about it - whatever "it" was. 

 

Their farm was near Ottawa, so there were suggestions that what they saw was related to some military exercise. Maybe a sighting of the Avro Arrow, which was being secretly developed at this time? What my grandfather mother considered as being "fast" would likely be seen as a normal speed by any of us who has ever been to an air show where faster-than-sound aircraft are on display. Whatever it was that they saw on that evening, will remain a family mystery.  


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#22 lainev

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Posted 29 May 2019 - 05:24 AM

Tie Fighter! Actually ISS. 

0A7F4A88-E894-4C18-8A9E-E40D0F84F65B.jpeg


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#23 Flyingsnow

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Posted 29 May 2019 - 06:51 AM

Tie Fighter! Actually ISS. 

attachicon.gif 0A7F4A88-E894-4C18-8A9E-E40D0F84F65B.jpeg

This is an excellent capture!! Lord Vader will be happy. 

I wish it was a Tie Fighter



#24 jcj380

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Posted 29 May 2019 - 07:57 AM

I'd say weather or other balloon, but send it to MUFON or NUFORC if you feel like it.  They can probably give you a better ID since they process hundreds of reports of aerial oddities. 



#25 Vondragonnoggin

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Posted 29 May 2019 - 08:07 AM

I'd say weather or other balloon, but send it to MUFON or NUFORC if you feel like it.  They can probably give you a better ID since they process hundreds of reports of aerial oddities. 

How would he do that? Radio waves? If he could, would the MUFONIANS, or NUFORCIANS even want to identify it as one of their own spacecraft? Are they Greys even?

 

tongue2.gif


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