It’s not a plane. It’s not a meteor. It’s not even a satellite. What is it? No, it is not little green men either. A few weeks ago I captured this while imaging M16, the Eagle Nebula. It’s probably something the size of a grain of sand skipping on, or burning up in the atmosphere. It just happened to be exactly in the middle of my frame.
Move up to last night and I saw something really odd that I’m trying to trace. So, if you were imaging in Cepheus, namely the Elephant’s Trunk. last night (7/30-31 11:20PM-11:36PM Central US) and saw something similar, let me know.
Here is a split frame of the two exposures. Both are 7 minute exposures. I made it gray-scale because I was imaging in Hydrogen Alpha. Notice the bright spot in the lower left. Remember, its a 7 minute exposure and this thing is bright. It’s not moving.
The gap between the left and right frames is maybe 15-30 seconds to allow for dithering. In that 15-30 seconds, to object moved to the right edge of the second frame, and stopped. All other stars are perfectly in place. The lower left of the second frame is obviously an airplane, but notice the two parallel lines toward the center of the frame. It’s another WTF. There is a clear start and stop to those lines
Looking at the shape of the object, it is clearly out of focus rather than actually being a flaming doughnut. So I thought it was maybe very close, or even a firefly. But when I started to examine all the frames I realized that my stars were all doughnuts in a several frames due to some very thin clouds creating focusing issues. And the logistics of it being a firefly at a distance to create any level of focus and that intensity while using an Ha filter ain’t happening.
So what do you think? I’m not asking for a conspiracy theory, or thoughts of little green (or grey) beings coming to take over the Earth. I know there is a perfectly logical explanation for this. I just want to know if anyone was imaging the Elephant’s Trunk at that time and saw something weird or if this was something in my backyard. Either way, I finished my 5 hours of Ha data I was aiming for!
Clear Skies, Bleary Eyes – KA