Discussion of APOD 15 August 2007: Mysterious Streaks

Comments and questions about the APOD on the main view screen.
apodman
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Mysterious Streaks are a Big Hoax

Post by apodman » Wed Aug 15, 2007 6:53 pm

Save the lame amateur material for April 1.

Return to publishing real photographs.

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orin stepanek
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Post by orin stepanek » Wed Aug 15, 2007 7:05 pm

Nobody really knows for sure. Maybe it could even be a mirage. :twisted:
Orin
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BMAONE23
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Post by BMAONE23 » Wed Aug 15, 2007 7:28 pm

Speaking of Iridium sattalites, I have a question.

I have noticed several in the past and wondered if they always flare white or do they flare in a variety of colors?

The reason I ask: (unfortunately I was without my camera at the time or I would post images) I was gazing at the sky one evening and spotted what I thought to be an Iridium flare, the only problem was the fact that it was bright red.

nirgalvallis
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Re: More answers

Post by nirgalvallis » Wed Aug 15, 2007 9:20 pm

canopia wrote:* The bright light on the horizon is a forest fire observation tower. There used to be an unwelcome mercury lamp there. But it somehow went off and never fixed again, much to our delight.

* There are no power lines there, take my word.

Good day,

Tunç Tezel
Hi:

So, it seems, you overlapped 4 or 5 images over the stars picture, but... as time goes by... did all those trails occur at the same altitude above the horizon?

Thank you, Tunç, gulá gulá! :wink:
Jorge A. Vázquez

...pero de su silencio... jamás

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Post by auroradude » Wed Aug 15, 2007 10:14 pm

Hello,
I just signed up so that I could add my personal observations:
The multiple exposures would have been taken on a fixed, non-motorized, mount (tripod or otherwise) since the short trailing of the stars is consistent with focal length of the lens and the length of the exposures. The forground would not be blurred.
If the streaks were reflections off power lines they would appear over the light source and furthermore, the unlit portions of power lines would appear as dark lines against the background sky. I would take Canopus at his word that there were no power lines.
I think multiple Iridium flares is the best possible explaination. They can still easily be polar orbiting satellites given the direction of travel. That the flares occur so close together is because the alignment of the sun relative to the observer and satellites has not changed enough between all the exposures. The one with the abrupt break would be consistant with an exposure ending or starting during a flare.
With the exception of this shortened trail, the streaks are very even from start to end with no bursts or color changes that might be associated with a meteor trail. If they were meteors from the same radiant they should not appear completely paralell.
Dennis A.
P.S. THEMIS is a cluster of five separate probes that line up every several days in order to study the aurora from paralell paths. This was launched a few months ago. Yet another, albeit remote, possibility.
Next stop... the twilight zone...

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Post by philschultz » Wed Aug 15, 2007 10:35 pm

Note that the exposure is 40 minutes and the streaks are close to horizontal. My guess is that the origin is terrestrial. Someone probably passed in front of the camera carrying or wearing something metallic which caught the reflection of a light source out of the field of view and reflected it back to the camera. Because of the motion, the reflection appears as streaks. The person passing quickly in front of the camera, being dark or shadowy, would not affect a 40 min exposure. Only the glare would remain.
Phil in Houston

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Please, somebody explain me.

Post by ochavoya » Wed Aug 15, 2007 10:52 pm

Both the stars and the trees have pretty well defined positions in this photograph, which I think is incompatible with the fact that Earth rotates about 10 degrees around its axis in the term of 40 minutes. The trees look well defined, then the camera was rotating with Earth and the stars should have moved. Does this makes sense?

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Chris Peterson
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Re: Please, somebody explain me.

Post by Chris Peterson » Wed Aug 15, 2007 11:03 pm

ochavoya wrote:Both the stars and the trees have pretty well defined positions in this photograph, which I think is incompatible with the fact that Earth rotates about 10 degrees around its axis in the term of 40 minutes. The trees look well defined, then the camera was rotating with Earth and the stars should have moved. Does this makes sense?
Standard procedure for making an image like this is that you align the individual frames on the star field, and black out any foreground features from all the images except one.
Chris

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wildmaven
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Lens?

Post by wildmaven » Wed Aug 15, 2007 11:32 pm

I get something like that on my glasses when they get scratched. Has the photographer checked the lens and filters?

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Re: Lens?

Post by WildSoft » Thu Aug 16, 2007 12:47 am

I guess it's the same kind of object:
http://wildsoft.ru/photo/meteor1.jpg
http://wildsoft.ru/photo/meteor2.jpg

Place: Moscow, Russia
Date: 13 August 2007
Time: 0:23:34 - 0:24:04 UTC
Exposure time: 30s
Apperture: 2.2
ISO: 200
Camera: Sony F828

PStenman
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Post by PStenman » Thu Aug 16, 2007 4:23 am

Has anyone considered the possibility of reflection artifacts of the bright hilltop light from within the digital slr camera itself?

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BMAONE23
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Post by BMAONE23 » Thu Aug 16, 2007 4:58 am

Given the quality of light and how they (except for the top most streak) tend to start dim then brighten then dim again over the course of less than 1min 35sec consecutively, I would say that they photograph exactly like iridium satalites would be expected to.

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40 minute exposure?

Post by Moonshadow » Thu Aug 16, 2007 5:13 am

If this image is indeed a 40 minute exposure, why isn't there "motion" recorded on the trees etc. in the foreground? Maybe that artifact was fixed in Photoshop, but once you start "doctoring" photos who knows what's what anymore.

One side of the streaks seem to line up indicating that if they were meteorites they all started (or stopped) flourescing at the same time (unlikely). Or if they were recorded at different times they just happened to line up.

To me, the streaks look like reflections off a power line.

:?:

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Mysterious Streaks ?

Post by Prabhu21 » Thu Aug 16, 2007 6:26 am

Conjuncter? Well they are Streaks and Mysterious however the way they look to me is that of blur of an speeding vehicle on a photo on Earth? There is direction and alignment in the image.
PRABHU

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Post by Imp » Thu Aug 16, 2007 6:31 am

I'm having trouble with this photo too.
If it were a 40 minute exposure we see the stars as curved streaks. And the setting sun (barely visible over the hilltop) would show up as a "ghosted" image. I find it hard to believe that anyone could track/pan with the sky that accurately with a hand-held camera as this would seem to be.
The streaks look like scratches on the lense to me. Possibly even the tattered remains of a spider web. Or, as Moonshadow said, possibly power lines.

I'm not saying this is a hoax, far from it. I think its just a misunderstood but rational anomaly.

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you not read..

Post by MaG » Thu Aug 16, 2007 8:48 am

Hey people, why do you not read previous information, that autor (Tunc Tezel) said..

1) He said, that this image is made from 5 separate exposures 2 min each! Total exposure time is 10 minutes.

2) You totally ignore, that on the Internet is very good application called Calsky.com - please when you send here your speculations about wires, streetlights I must ask you - Why do you not prove my explanation, that is in Calsky so evident, that all these streaks are Iridium flares, because:

a) all times corespondent to image exposure times
b) all streaks are in the same position, that Calsky show you, IF YOU CAN USE IT PROPERLY! Because Calsky can generate sky map with Iridium pass and that pass line is the same that in this Tunc´s image!
c) all streaks in Tunc´s photo are the same intenzity, that Calsky predicts!

I must laugh, that you speculate and do not prove this before you say something. It´s so evident agreement :)

When you do not believe me at all, so go out this evening and make photo of some Iridium flare.. these flares have many shapes, but most of them are regular to both sides, only sometimes they are not symetric, as you can see in Tunc´s photo too. But it´s normal.

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Post by Dims » Thu Aug 16, 2007 11:07 am

One can see a light source just above the mountain. Also, some faint resemblance of light beam from this source is visible. And this beam is pointed directly to the strange streaks.

So, I think, that several birds could fly into and then out of the beam.
Dims
http://www.relativity.ru (in russian)

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Post by avicenna » Thu Aug 16, 2007 11:21 am

If ever I take up sky photography I will have to be very rich.

I will have to hire a platoon of lawyers to stand beside me, review everything I do and put the digital originals safe somewhere as soon as I snap a picture.
Than they have to swear affadavits that nothing was changed before sending the photo anywhere...

Sjeeez
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Re: Lens?

Post by Simple Peasant » Thu Aug 16, 2007 11:56 am

wildmaven wrote:I get something like that on my glasses when they get scratched. Has the photographer checked the lens and filters?
I was thinking along the same lines. When you get scratches on a lens or filter the scratches will run parallel to each other, if the damage occurs at one time. The effect would be much like that of using a star burst filter except that only half of the filter lines would be present.

Your idea is worth considering I think. :)

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orin stepanek
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Post by orin stepanek » Thu Aug 16, 2007 12:18 pm

If you magnify; there are more streaks. Some are very hard to see; and all are parallel to each other. :)
reminds me of this discussion. http://asterisk.apod.com/viewtopic.php?t=249
Orin
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Still a hoax

Post by apodman » Thu Aug 16, 2007 1:32 pm

It's still a hoax.

Imp thinks the hoaxster's composition is just a misunderstood :cry: but rational anomaly. Well the hoaxster admits to pasting five of your misunderstood rational anomalies by hand ( :wink: :wink: :wink: :wink: :wink: ) into the positions he chose on something that is not a photograph at all but a digital composition. You can photograph any kind of streak by any cheesy method you want; as many have pointed out, iridium flares serve nicely; as others have pointed out, the angle is wrong for any satellite including iridium flares.

Note to Annemarie :shock: : Did you know that the word "gullible" is not in the dictionary?

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Chris Peterson
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Post by Chris Peterson » Thu Aug 16, 2007 1:53 pm

orin stepanek wrote:reminds me of this discussion. http://asterisk.apod.com/viewtopic.php?t=249
Yeah, me too. Just like in that case, we've got one or two simple, straightforward possibilities, and a discussion that takes on a life of its own as people try to come up with off-the-wall, crazy theories- many based on a failure to even consider the conditions under which the image was made (which has been clearly given). And also on a failure to read the earlier comments.

For the record, this image doesn't show wires, or optical problems, or birds. It isn't a hoax. It doesn't show any exotic phenomena. It could be meteors (the imager saw the first one visually). It could be satellites (there are a lot up there, especially around Orion). The Iridium data appears to be a good fit, and these images look exactly like hundreds of Iridium flare images that have been published. It's possible that we are seeing four Iridium flares and one meteor. In any case, there's no reason to think that there's anything more complicated going on here.
Chris

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BMAONE23
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Post by BMAONE23 » Thu Aug 16, 2007 2:05 pm

Perhaps it would be possible to have the original 5 separate photos posted as a link into APOD.

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Re: Still a hoax

Post by avicenna » Thu Aug 16, 2007 7:24 pm

Note to Annemarie :shock: : Did you know that the word "gullible" is not in the dictionary?
Depends on the dictionary I suppose.

But if you can find the time, some day, you might try to explain to me what sitting on my balcony, viewing a "meteorite" going the wrong way horizontally, has to do with "gullible"?

O, and I don't have scratches on my eyes, either! (Or power lines.)

Other hand, I didn't have any witnesses... so okay, I am probably a hoax
Annemarie

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Post by auroradude » Thu Aug 16, 2007 8:11 pm

Bravo to the mystery sleuths !!! In my mind the mystery is 100 percent solved. The separate data sources for the five Iridium satellite flares within the given time span - each on separate frames, then stacked - is overwhelming evidence that this is indeed what they are and how the image was created.

The only mystery that remains for me is exactly how the registration of these frames results in a single clear foreground. Obviously, the foreground was subtracted from all but one- with great skill I might add. To see the original separate frames will help clear this up for me as well.

And yes, "gullible" is in my dictionary - with two spellings no less. It must have been a joke on me (gullable) to even question that it wasn't in there!

I won't buy into any other theories and yes, I truly believe men landed on the moon as well. :shock:

Thanks to all for this most entertaining discussion.
Dennis A.
Next stop... the twilight zone...