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Did I see the ISS, UFO, or did my retina detach?

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#1 Anony

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Posted 04 July 2020 - 11:47 PM

I was looking at the moon tonight testing out a couple of eyepieces and for a couple of quick seconds I noticed something quickly moving across the moon. It looked kind of like, well, what I'd expect the ISS to look like ... or what some sort of space probe would be shaped like ... zipped across way quicker than I'd like, and I wasn't expecting it, so only got a quick glimpse. But it was definitely more than just a dot, it had a shape to it.

 

Could have that been the ISS? Can we typically see it fly across the moon? Or is my eyeball falling apart on me?



#2 gene 4181

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Posted 04 July 2020 - 11:56 PM

 Probably a floater in the eye , smile.gif


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#3 kfiscus

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Posted 05 July 2020 - 12:03 AM

From what I've read on spaceweather and other sites that have photos of the ISS transiting the sun and moon, the transits last a fraction of a second.  From the OP's description of the event lasting a couple of seconds, I would guess that it was a plane.


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#4 Anony

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Posted 05 July 2020 - 12:13 AM

If a plane, there was no lights, so not visible by simply glancing up. Then again, maybe some planes don't always have lights on? *shrugs*

 

Didn't seem like a floater, as I have seen floaters before. This was an even straight path, zipped across the moon... let's say 2 seconds or so? I'm guessing as to time... but it wasn't super duper quick like a fraction of a second. Could have been 1 second however, not like I timed it. But once past the moon, not visible in the scope or by glancing up.

 

A weirdly shaped plane with no lights?


Edited by Anony, 05 July 2020 - 12:16 AM.


#5 B 26354

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Posted 05 July 2020 - 01:44 AM

Go to https://www.calsky.com/

 

In the menu at the top, click on "Setup", and enter your exact location. Back on the home page, click on "International Space Station ISS".

 

Change the date and time to an hour before you had your sighting, change the duration to 1 week, and click "Go!".

 

If the ISS passed in front of the Moon during that time period, at your location, it will say so. Click on "ISS" next to the little ISS graphic, and it will show you the path that the ISS took, across the face of the Moon.


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#6 Daveatvt01

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Posted 05 July 2020 - 02:15 AM

I have shot the ISS going in front of the moon and would estimate it takes a little under a second to cross a full moon’s disc. (Based on 8 frames per second and ~6 being in front of the moon, although I’m sure it varies some based on altitude, etc.)

Here is one at around first quarter:

 

ISS and moon, November 2017

I checked ISS transit finder (https://transit-finder.com) and it doesn’t look like the ISS went in front of the moon from your location but it could have been one of many other satellites. They can be lit up or dark depending on where the sun is at the time. 
 
If it was closer to one second I’d guess a satellite. 
I usually just see bats go in front of the moon. They do not go in a straight line :)

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#7 Anony

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Posted 05 July 2020 - 03:18 AM

) and it doesn’t look like the ISS went in front of the moon from your location but it could have been one of many other satellites. They can be lit up or dark depending on where the sun is at the time. 
 
If it was closer to one second I’d guess a satellite. 
I usually just see bats go in front of the moon. They do not go in a straight line smile.gif

 

My first thought was maybe it was a random satellite or space junk. Although those typically those would be lit up, wouldn't they? Guess depending on the sun or angle, or the satellite, maybe not. Either that, or I saw a tiny, tiny bat with a very even flying style.



#8 Tony Flanders

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Posted 05 July 2020 - 05:02 AM

Could have been a bird. They fly at lots of different speeds and altitudes, so it could take them arbitrarily long or short amounts of time to cross the Moon. It's very common to see birds in front of the Moon during migration season -- but of course that's not now.


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#9 SirLoyne

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Posted 05 July 2020 - 05:33 AM

If it was the ISS, you can see it without a scope. Did you look to see if you could see it by eye?


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#10 MellonLake

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Posted 05 July 2020 - 06:51 AM

I recently saw what I initially though was a satellite pass in front of the moon. Later on I noticed that someone was flying a drone in my neighborhood.

It was Canada Day and I guess they were filming their fireworks. They were lucky the did not end up with a big fine or worse because they were way way way to close to Canada's largest airport for drone flying.
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#11 Echolight

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Posted 05 July 2020 - 08:40 AM

I think I saw it while viewing Saturn a few weeks ago. Looked like a bright white fast moving star.


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#12 JOEinCO

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Posted 05 July 2020 - 09:15 AM

Could have been a bird......

My first thought was a bird as well.


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#13 jcj380

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Posted 05 July 2020 - 09:21 AM

Wait until you have a firefly light up as it crosses your FOV.  That'll wake you up.


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#14 MaknMe

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Posted 05 July 2020 - 09:41 AM

Go to Heavens Above and check your time and location.
https://www.heavens-above.com/

They have info on the ISS and a ton of other things above.

Edited by MaknMe, 05 July 2020 - 09:45 AM.

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#15 Anony

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Posted 05 July 2020 - 12:19 PM

If it was the ISS, you can see it without a scope. Did you look to see if you could see it by eye?

 

Couldn't see it by eye. And couldn't see it once past the moon with the scope. Although it flew by it so quickly I really didn't have time to track it. Typically with satellites they are lit up like flying dots, but not this one. Checking the ISS checker sites mentioned here, it doesn't appear as if ISS passed by the moon at my location.

 

Odd-shaped bird or drone is a possibility. Just that if a bird, it flew very straight and wasn't exactly bird-shaped. Drone however... maybe? I hadn't considered that possibility. It was tiny however, so that drone would have had to been super high.

 

Going to go with UFO then.... which translates to unidentified flying bird/bat/plane/drone/space junk.



#16 B 26354

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Posted 05 July 2020 - 04:56 PM

If what you saw was a satellite or a piece of space-junk, and it was in the Earth's shadow, it would be invisible except when passing in front of the Moon (or the Sun). I'm honestly surprised this stuff isn't seen more often than it is... although most of what's floating around out there is far smaller than the ISS. To give you an idea of why I think like that... check this out:

 

http://stuffin.space/

 

lol.gif


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#17 dgpilot

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Posted 06 July 2020 - 04:47 PM

100% sure it was a UFO. No doubt about it.

 

UFO does mean.. unidentified flying object. It was unidentified.. and it was flying. So there you go, case closed. cool.gif


Edited by dgpilot, 06 July 2020 - 04:48 PM.

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#18 Mbinoc

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Posted 06 July 2020 - 06:33 PM

Technically, if you do not know what it is, it is indeed a UFO (Unidentified Flying Object).

 

:)


Edited by Mbinoc, 06 July 2020 - 06:33 PM.

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#19 LyraCygnus

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Posted 08 July 2020 - 03:22 PM

If it was the ISS, you can see it without a scope. Did you look to see if you could see it by eye?

Yes you can definitely see it without a scope.  I saw it two weeks ago by eye.  It looks like a star moving across the sky with no lights blinking just a steady light.  I saw it for around 30 seconds first moving quite slowly towards the zenith. After it moved past the zenith it seemed to move much faster, almost like a plunging movement and then completely disappeared. I guess it was because it moved into the earth's shadow. 



#20 MalVeauX

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Posted 08 July 2020 - 03:26 PM

Dragon fly...

Bat...

 

Very best,



#21 LyraCygnus

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Posted 08 July 2020 - 03:32 PM

Talking of UFOs I saw something unusual a week ago in the early evening sky.  At first I thought it was a plane and saw what looked like wings but these were indistinct.  It was very high up in the sky, it seemed much higher than planes usually fly and was enveloped by a whitish haze which trailed along after it as it moved across the sky.  I've never seen anything like it before and guess it could have been a comet but had not heard that a comet would be visible at that time.  It was visible for about 7-8 seconds and then just disappeared.  Very unusual. 




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