Lights in the Sky

 
Last night (5 Aug 14) I was imaging the quarter moon through the Celestron at about 7.17pm in Bathurst NSW … and looking to the west I noticed a large misty cloud like patch in the vicinity of Spica. There was no obvious movement at that time. Binoculars didn’t do much to resolve the cloud although there appeared to be a star in the centre. It looked in a way like a nebula seen through the scope although far too bright for it being seen with the naked eye. About the size of a full moon. The sky was also completely clear.

Thinking of various explanations (exploding comets or motherships) I swapped the camera from scope to the tripod and briefly captured a few images of the very slowly fading but rising object (against the movement of the planets Saturn and Mars which were also in the same area but falling along the ecliptic plane into the western sky).

After about 15 minutes it faded further and the light from the moon made it difficult to see.
This morning I sent the grainy image to the Sydney ObservatoryLights in the Sky” Website and by midday it was clear that a number of people had seen the object all over Eastern Australia and even in South Australia.

Dr Nick Lomb, the Curator of Sydney Observatory believes it to be from a satellite launch, most likely the staging of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket used to launch the AsiaSat 8 satellite from Cape Canaveral at 6:00 pm AEST on 5 August. Condensing of the LOX fuel into the extremely cold atmosphere causing the vapour cloud.
 
Amazing to have seen that here in Australia. A very rare and special moment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


2 thoughts on “Lights in the Sky

  1. What a wonderful capture! And what a miraculous age we live in when you can not only see, but photograph and share these “lights in the sky” which originated half a world away, with all of us! Best wishes, WG

    Like

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