Forum - What did I see in the sky?

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Hey folks... haven't been 'round this little corner of the web lately, but I have a mystery so I thought I'd run it by you guys/gals...

I was outside lounging by the pool, looking up in the sky (a perfect cloudless sunny day), around 6 PM, watching birds, airplanes etc. when I saw what looked like a star directly overhead. I'm thinking to myself, it's not a star, it was too bright and they're too faint to easily spot in daylight. It wasn't moving so it wasn't an airplane. It was too high up to be a balloon. My next thought was a planet, such as Venus. I mentioned it to Heather who was lounging next to me, and she saw it too when I pointed it out. I went to take another look, and I could see a fainter "star" near it as well. At this point I decide I need to get a closer look, so I go into the shed to dig out my telescope. It took me a few minutes to find it (my shed is a mess! [Embarrassed] ) When I came back out, I tried to find the "star" again and it was fainter this time. I then set the telescope and tried to find it again, and I couldn't see it at all. I scanned the sky and spotted another "star" in another part of the sky (further northeast). I tried to aim my telescope at it but I had no luck. That "star" disappeared after a few minutes too.

Of course, therein lies the mystery. What were they? I already ruled out airplanes, helicopters, stars and planets. About the only things I could think of are geosynchronous satellites (the kind that stay in one spot relative to the earth's rotation) or UFOs. Satellites could possibly be visible when the sun hits them at the right angle, and would fade as the sun moves. I googled on geosynchronous satellites but I didn't find much on daytime sightings of them.

So, any other ideas? Maybe top secret government spy craft? hehe [Wink]
Aug 05 @ 22:30
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Wow, that is too cool! I think a satellite would be a possibility. My hubby and I have both seen objects in the sky at night and broad daylight that we have not been able to identify. It would be interesting to find out if anyone made a report in your area of a UFO during that time.
Aug 06 @ 13:23
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That is cool! [Wink] I ditto Carrie, in that possibly it may have been a satellite. I'm curious too, if anyone in your area reported a UFO sighting. Heard anything about it or checked into it?

I have another, terribly mundane possibility that I'm thinking of, because I've seen it now and again out this way... A plastic grocery bag that has been caught by, and taken higher and higher by the [upper] winds. Up in the distant sky (particularly during daytime hours), we can still spot these bags with the naked eye, but they will appear as a tiny, glimmering speck.. even flickering, depending on how they're moving and how the sunlight is hitting them as they move. [Nerd]

Just a thought! [Big Grin]

Kell
Aug 07 @ 10:15
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kevin keep watching the friendly skies. those ufo's are as curious about us as we are of them.or is it they fear us ? seen one my self at about 500 feet.cigar shape no noise hovering tree top level. starry night. eight square window's? on the side that could be seen. green glow & murky mist in window's. something in human like form looking out.trust me a new land speed record was set getting back in the house.
Aug 08 @ 21:29
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Well, so far no more sightings, but then it's been cloudy the past couple evenings. I've been hoping to watch the sky around 6 PM again since that's when I saw them; whatever they were, I'm guessing the sun was reflected off them at that time which allowed me to see them. Last night it was cloudy around 6 PM but cleared up toward 7 and I watched the sky then (looking for that first star) but even after sunset I didn't see any, so whatever I saw the other day was definitely not a star, planet, or satellite (no way a satellite would be bright enough to see in broad daylight!) Astronomy is one of my oft-neglected hobbies so I generally know where a planet will or won't be seen at a given time/place.

Kell/Carrie, I looked in the online newspaper and did a couple google searches but didn't find anything on any reported sightings. But then it wasn't something you'd even notice unless you happened to be looking up in the right place at the right time. It basically looked like when you see that first star at dusk, when it's just dark enough to see it if you know where to look... except that it was 6 PM and the sun was still out.

Kell, I've seen floating grocery bags, it definitely wasn't that. Maybe a high-altitude weather balloon? Do they still use those with today's satellite radar technology? Plus, I saw more than one, in more than one part of the sky. I don't think they send up weather balloons in groups.

Back on the satellite theory... even if they could reflect enough sunlight to be visible in broad daylight, unless they were geostationary, it would appear to move across the sky. These things I saw were stationary. Also, geostationary satellites orbit the equator, so they would be in the southernmost part of the sky (especially when you live in the north like I do). There's no way a geostationary satellite could exist directly overhead in the northeast. =)

GrimReaper, that is a classic UFO sighting. I've always wanted to see a UFO (I was reading UFO books as far back as 4th grade), but no such luck yet, other than my unknown "stars".

So, I've done my homework, and still don't know what the heck they were. I wish I had been able to get my telescope on one, or a good pair of binoculars. Whatever they were, they were high enough to appear like a star, they weren't moving, and they must have been reflecting sunlight so I could see them, as they faded over a few minutes time as the sun moved across the sky.
Aug 09 @ 11:44
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It wouldn't surprise me if it were a UFO. I think they are as interested in us as we are them, as stated before. I have seen strange things in the sky and made the mistake of mentioning it, just to be told I didn't see what I thought I saw. I just love that comeback.
Aug 09 @ 18:35
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as a matter of fact.the visitors would have been called grey's, they were small in stature.the light inside also had a mixture of dull ugly yellow inside also. no noise what so ever. I think they were interested in the snow that was on the ground. it's a true eye witness report.
Aug 09 @ 20:26
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Kevin,

I'm really not in the know about this, but I'd not think they'd still use weather balloons with the satellite technology we have today.

Kell
Aug 10 @ 23:12
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Kevin,

Over the weekend on CNN, they mentioned that the Perseid Meteor Shower would reach its peak Aug. 11-12 (but I believe it still shows before and after the peak time). What do you think? Possibility?

http://stardate.org/nightsky/meteors/[/URL]

Kell
Aug 14 @ 23:59
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Good idea Kell about the meteor shower, except for the fact that meteors don't hover. =) What I saw was stationary and visible for several minutes. It looked just like when you see that first star at dusk, except that it was still daylight. Then a few minutes later I saw it further northeast (another one, or maybe it moved). Whatever it was, it was likely very high up and reflecting sunlight to make it visible.

I've looked toward the sky around 5:45-6 PM a couple nights this week when it was clear but haven't seen anything. If it were a star or planet it would be visible over several days/weeks at the least.

So, the remaining possibilities are high-altitude balloons or... ??? [Eek!]

[ August 16, 2007, 05:56 AM: Message edited by: Kevin P ]
Aug 16 @ 10:55
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It could very well have been a meteor.
When they are travelling in your direction (not necessarily directly at you) they appear just as a bright light. It's burning, it's moving but since it is travelling in your direction it doesn't appear to move. Which would explain seeing more than one and the difference in brightness over time.
Aug 21 @ 10:18
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But meteors generally burn out in a matter of seconds. These were visible for at least 5 minutes each. And the odds of 2-3 meteors approaching directly "at" me so they appear stationary for 5+ minutes is unlikely... any meteor coming straight at me for 5+ minutes would have left a crater where I was standing! [Eek!]

I think the luminosity and change in brightness was due to the sun reflecting off them, and as the sun moved, they reflected less light toward me, causing them to fade.

[ August 21, 2007, 11:45 AM: Message edited by: Kevin P ]
Aug 21 @ 16:44

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