APOD: How to Identify that Light in the Sky (2014 Jun 09)

Comments and questions about the APOD on the main view screen.
6thmoonofpluto
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Re: APOD: How to Identify that Light in the Sky (2014 Jun 09

Post by 6thmoonofpluto » Tue Jun 10, 2014 9:16 am

I loved the post, which made me chuckle. However, there is one serious potential case that is not covered.

A few months ago I was on a plane descending at night towards a European airport when I saw a line of blinking stationary white lights hovering a couple of hundred feet above the horizon. It wook me a while to figure out what they were - namely warning beacons atop a line of wind turbines. Of course had they not been stationary, they would clearly have been (no, not that!) a group of helicopters flying in formation.

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Nitpicker
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Re: APOD: How to Identify that Light in the Sky (2014 Jun 09

Post by Nitpicker » Tue Jun 10, 2014 9:32 am

Nitpicker wrote:I might also add that Jupiter has been low in my sky since I developed an observational interest in astronomy, just a couple of years ago. (And Venus is rarely high at night and Mercury is rarely seen in a dark enough sky.) This could easily explain why I think I see planets twinkling more than most other people. Mars and Saturn are high for me at the moment. Mars is a no brainer to spot by its red colour. And I have also learnt to spot Saturn by its unique golden hue. So I must admit that I can't really say whether I've seen Mars and Saturn twinkle very much when high in the sky, as I haven't been looking out for it. The nights when I am most seriously observing these two, tend to be nights of very good seeing (negligible wind, high pressure and negligible jetstream) where nothing twinkles very much at all.
So I popped out tonight and the stars are all twinkling noticeably and the planets (even Jupiter) are steady as a rock. So much for my scintillating theory. :roll:

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neufer
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Re: APOD: How to Identify that Light in the Sky (2014 Jun 09

Post by neufer » Tue Jun 10, 2014 11:08 am

Nitpicker wrote:
So I popped out tonight and the stars are all twinkling noticeably and the planets (even Jupiter) are steady as a rock.

So much for my scintillating theory. :roll:
A good scientist always puts his hypotheses to experimental testing
and reports on the results (whether good or bad).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unafraid_of_the_Dark wrote:
"Unafraid of the Dark" is the 13th and last episode of
the American documentary television series Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey.

1) Question Authority. No idea is true just because someone says it is. Think for yourself.

2) Question Yourself. Don't believe anything just because you want to. Believing something doesn't make it so.

3) Test Ideas by the evidence gained from observation and experiment.
If a favorite idea fails a well designed test, it's wrong. Get over it.


4) Follow the evidence wherever it leads - If you have no evidence, reserve judgement.

5) Remember you could be wrong. Even the best scientists have been wrong about some things.
Last edited by neufer on Tue Jun 10, 2014 9:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Art Neuendorffer

Danny252
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Re: APOD: How to Identify that Light in the Sky (2014 Jun 09

Post by Danny252 » Tue Jun 10, 2014 6:51 pm

Nitpicker wrote:
Nitpicker wrote:I might also add that Jupiter has been low in my sky since I developed an observational interest in astronomy, just a couple of years ago. (And Venus is rarely high at night and Mercury is rarely seen in a dark enough sky.) This could easily explain why I think I see planets twinkling more than most other people. Mars and Saturn are high for me at the moment. Mars is a no brainer to spot by its red colour. And I have also learnt to spot Saturn by its unique golden hue. So I must admit that I can't really say whether I've seen Mars and Saturn twinkle very much when high in the sky, as I haven't been looking out for it. The nights when I am most seriously observing these two, tend to be nights of very good seeing (negligible wind, high pressure and negligible jetstream) where nothing twinkles very much at all.
So I popped out tonight and the stars are all twinkling noticeably and the planets (even Jupiter) are steady as a rock. So much for my scintillating theory. :roll:
However, I certainly have seen Venus twinkling more than I have ever seen any star. It was going like a disco ball, and disappeared and reappeared several times over the course of five minutes or so. This was from the top of La Palma, and it was right on the horizon - the altitude was almost certainly below zero!

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Chris Peterson
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Re: APOD: How to Identify that Light in the Sky (2014 Jun 09

Post by Chris Peterson » Tue Jun 10, 2014 7:13 pm

Danny252 wrote:However, I certainly have seen Venus twinkling more than I have ever seen any star. It was going like a disco ball, and disappeared and reappeared several times over the course of five minutes or so. This was from the top of La Palma, and it was right on the horizon - the altitude was almost certainly below zero!
Get enough atmosphere and anything is possible. We see the Sun and Moon "scintillating" when they're on the horizon, as well.
Chris

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somebody

Re: APOD: How to Identify that Light in the Sky (2014 Jun 09

Post by somebody » Wed Jun 11, 2014 12:04 am

hoohaw wrote:It's a bird! It's a plane! It's ... Superman!
L.O.L.

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Re: APOD: How to Identify that Light in the Sky (2014 Jun 09

Post by bdm_cato@yahoo.com » Wed Jun 11, 2014 2:22 pm

I don't know where this fits in the flow chart:

you are driving down a small city street and low in the horizon behind those wavering trees is the golden shadow of the moon! How beautiful!... oh, no, wait, it's one of those streetlights ...

Thanks for the taxonomy.

beamtuner

Re: APOD: How to Identify that Light in the Sky (2014 Jun 09

Post by beamtuner » Wed Jun 11, 2014 4:05 pm

On the left of the graphic

are your retinas burning?
|
/ \
/ \
/ \
yes no
/ \
/ \
are your clothes burning? Moon
/ \
/ \
yes no
/ \
/ \
Nuclear Explosion Sun

Guest

Re: APOD: How to Identify that Light in the Sky (2014 Jun 09

Post by Guest » Wed Jun 11, 2014 4:13 pm

beamtuner wrote:On the left of the graphic
Oops, try this:
...........................................are your retinas burning?
.........................................................|
......................................................./...\
....................................................../......\
..................................................../.........\
..................................................yes..........no
................................................../...............\
................................................./.................\
.................................are your clothes burning?.....Moon
............................................./........\
.........................................../...........\
........................................yes............no
......................................../.................\
......................................./....................\
.................................Nuclear Explosion......Sun

Juraj

Re: APOD: How to Identify that Light in the Sky (2014 Jun 09

Post by Juraj » Thu Jun 12, 2014 12:56 pm

And where is the genuine UFO option? Without it it's intellectually pathetic. Yeah, I now astronomers like to think as there aren't and never was any UFO sightings! I am an astronomer and I use to be like this too. But after looking into the subject of UFO phenomenons, I changed my mind. The UFO phenomenon is real. Of course, not all sighting, but maybe 10% of them, maybe less, and it deserves proper scientific approach. Not everything what is happening in the sky can be explained in pure astronomical terms or be categorized in one of the classical possibilities as airplane, meteorological balloon, lantern, etc.

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Chris Peterson
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Re: APOD: How to Identify that Light in the Sky (2014 Jun 09

Post by Chris Peterson » Thu Jun 12, 2014 2:11 pm

Juraj wrote:And where is the genuine UFO option?
Obviously, an all-inclusive binary key taxonomy tool (which this one makes no claim to be) would have one path leading to a box labeled "unknown".

In this key, every node without a red box around it is a genuine UFO.
Chris

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Juraj

Re: APOD: How to Identify that Light in the Sky (2014 Jun 09

Post by Juraj » Fri Jun 13, 2014 9:21 pm

Chris Peterson wrote:
Juraj wrote:And where is the genuine UFO option?
Obviously, an all-inclusive binary key taxonomy tool (which this one makes no claim to be) would have one path leading to a box labeled "unknown".

In this key, every node without a red box around it is a genuine UFO.
No, it pretends to be an all-inclusive binary key taxonomy tool, but as you correctly wrote, it isn't.
In this key, every node without a red box continues to split, until it gets to a definitive red box answer. So no, you are not right!

In this strange world we live in, an astronomer can't admit he believes in UFO, otherwise he would be immediately doomed by his colleagues. And I am not talking just about the unidentified flying lights, but objects and whole "space ships".

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Chris Peterson
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Re: APOD: How to Identify that Light in the Sky (2014 Jun 09

Post by Chris Peterson » Fri Jun 13, 2014 9:31 pm

Juraj wrote:
Chris Peterson wrote:In this key, every node without a red box around it is a genuine UFO.
No, it pretends to be an all-inclusive binary key taxonomy tool, but as you correctly wrote, it isn't.
In this key, every node without a red box continues to split, until it gets to a definitive red box answer. So no, you are not right!
If you seriously take this image to be intended as an all-inclusive identification tool, you're really missing the point! (And missing a sense of humor, as well.)
In this strange world we live in, an astronomer can't admit he believes in UFO, otherwise he would be immediately doomed by his colleagues. And I am not talking just about the unidentified flying lights, but objects and whole "space ships".
I'm an astronomer who has seen UFOs. Many of my astronomer friends have seen UFOs. Of course, no rational person believes in alien spaceships visiting the Earth. A scientist (who is expected to be rational) would be quite properly seen as silly if he believed that UFOs are anything other than what the name suggests- something observed that can't be conclusively identified because it isn't present long enough to study well.
Chris

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Re: APOD: How to Identify that Light in the Sky (2014 Jun 09

Post by geckzilla » Fri Jun 13, 2014 9:38 pm

Juraj wrote:In this strange world we live in, an astronomer can't admit he believes in UFO, otherwise he would be immediately doomed by his colleagues. And I am not talking just about the unidentified flying lights, but objects and whole "space ships".
They get entire TV series devoted to them.
Just call me "geck" because "zilla" is like a last name.