Minor Strangeness

IamSundog

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Spent yesterday with Escette and my wonderful son in law who is a gas fitter. He was telling us about things that happen at work. Recently he was in a customer's loft and took out a voltmeter to look for a current. (In case the casework on a boiler was live and so dangerous.)

As soon he switched it on it registered a current. Wherever he waved it in the air it did the same thing. It was as if the whole area was full of electricity.
He rang the works electrician who said 'No idea Mate, that's bizarre!'

Son in law is still alive so it wasn't that dangerous. Dunno.
Very strange tale.
 

INT21

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Ermintruder,

I have a couple of Fluke 23 VOMs, and a Selectest Super 50. This is very similar to an AVO 8.

I like the large analogue scale, and feed it with a variety of home made OP-Amp buffers to jack up the input impedance.

I do have an AVO Digital Meter (AVOmeter DA 116) but it has a fault on one of the ranges. Plus all kinds of other odds and sods meters.

But the three listed at the top do most jobs.

INT21.
 

James_H

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Minor but it freaked me out: last night I took a shower, using a bar of soap. This morning I took another, and the bar of soap had disappeared. I live alone, and there is literally no reason I would have absent-mindedly moved the soap from its habitual place. A search of the house turned up nothing.
I think I've solved it. Recently my bar soap has developed teethmarks. Rats or mice are eating it (bad news that I have rats or mice). Perhaps they dragged away the previous bar into their mousehole.
 

JamesWhitehead

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Mice soon leave other evidence. Frothy mouse-stools are a bit hard to imagine. Pictures, please, if they occur!

Should they die in their holes, may the grace of the soap disinfect them. Amen! Good luck with that, James! :oops:
 

Lb8535

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Yes they do eat soap but you should be seeing mouse poop in the same area. I can't envision a mouse dragging away a bar of soap, although they do create caches of seeds in unlikely places. Borrow a cat for a day just to get the scent into the area.
 

skinny

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Space Oddity!!

@EnolaGaia, you may be able to explain this one. Just happened. 30 minutes after sundown I'm skygazing westward and I see my first satellite of the evening. Just a really dim steady mover like you'd expect under a near full moon. Then within seconds it glows brighter and brighter and suddenly I see there are now two points of bright light in tandem right next to one another and the shine gets brighter and brighter for about ten seconds then slowly dims over another 20 seconds and disappears like you'd see one go behind the shadow of the earth.

I was speculating it must be a conjunction of two separate birds and that they would drift apart in time and vector, but they stayed exactly parallel and glowed and dimmed together, as if they were joined together as part of one structure.

There is no ISS here in Adelaide tonight. I'd just checked before I went outside. I thought when it started to get really bright that it was the ISS and there'd been an error by NASA until that second light appeared right next to the first like they were two ends of a barbel structure. No ISS. This was a very different satellite. I know my space cans. This thing I'd never seen before.

I also considered it must be an iridium and it would rotate around and get back into glow again as they are wont to do spinning about. It never reappeared. I followed the trajectory it would have taken for five minutes and nada.

Weird. WTF?
 

Mythopoeika

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Space Oddity!!

@EnolaGaia, you may be able to explain this one. Just happened. 30 minutes after sundown I'm skygazing westward and I see my first satellite of the evening. Just a really dim steady mover like you'd expect under a near full moon. Then within seconds it glows brighter and brighter and suddenly I see there are now two points of bright light in tandem right next to one another and the shine gets brighter and brighter for about ten seconds then slowly dims over another 20 seconds and disappears like you'd see one go behind the shadow of the earth.

I was speculating it must be a conjunction of two separate birds and that they would drift apart in time and vector, but they stayed exactly parallel and glowed and dimmed together, as if they were joined together as part of one structure.

There is no ISS here in Adelaide tonight. I'd just checked before I went outside. I thought when it started to get really bright that it was the ISS and there'd been an error by NASA until that second light appeared right next to the first like they were two ends of a barbel structure. No ISS. This was a very different satellite. I know my space cans. This thing I'd never seen before.

I also considered it must be an iridium and it would rotate around and get back into glow again as they are wont to do spinning about. It never reappeared. I followed the trajectory it would have taken for five minutes and nada.

Weird. WTF?
A reflection off ice crystals in the upper atmosphere?
 

EnolaGaia

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Space Oddity!! ... Weird. WTF?
I've seen a second satellite flare into view and appear to be following (and even closing the distance to ... ) the ISS soon after sunset. The first time it happened I was with a friend who's into stargazing / amateur astronomy. We ID'd the ISS first. The second satellite flared brightly, moving in the same direction as the ISS and seemingly on the same track as if following it. The second object was closing on the ISS just as the ISS "disappeared" (crossed the terminator into the earth's shadow).

My friend quipped, "Did we just see a killer satellite destroy the ISS ?!?"

FWIW ... We checked the relevant databases online, and we determined there was no resupply mission heading to or from the ISS around that time.

My first guess is that you saw two orbiting objects in similar orbits at different altitudes, and the apparent flaring resulted from reflecting more of the sunlight from beyond your horizon at that early evening hour.
 

escargot

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A few weeks ago - I reckon it'll be 4 weeks tomorrow - Techy and I were at the petrol station till together waiting to pay for fuel or wine or whatever, when we both suddenly stumbled and nearly fell over. We were standing still, totally sober. It was as if the floor had tilted.

We went 'WTF?' and then it was our turn so we carried on and forgot about it for a few days. Maybe it was a little earthquake?
 

skinny

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My first guess is that you saw two orbiting objects in similar orbits at different altitudes, and the apparent flaring resulted from reflecting more of the sunlight from beyond your horizon at that early evening hour.
Seems plausable. Only thing is,
I was speculating it must be a conjunction of two separate birds and that they would drift apart in time and vector, but they stayed exactly parallel and glowed and dimmed together, as if they were joined together as part of one structure.
So different altitudes would likely mean a separate dimming time. I'm not doubting it was terrestrial. It was as bright as the ISS at peak glow. It had all the appearance of a docking of two massive stations. Is China hiding a low orbit colonisation enterprise? I'm serious.
 

skinny

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These were hard objects moving at orbital velocity. Satellites.

?
 

Min Bannister

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A few weeks ago - I reckon it'll be 4 weeks tomorrow - Techy and I were at the petrol station till together waiting to pay for fuel or wine or whatever, when we both suddenly stumbled and nearly fell over. We were standing still, totally sober. It was as if the floor had tilted.

We went 'WTF?' and then it was our turn so we carried on and forgot about it for a few days. Maybe it was a little earthquake?
Are Quadrilla anywhere near your area? They like to cause earthquakes.
 

skinny

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Has that been established?
Yes, Mytho. In my very broad experience, undoubtedly.
I observe this stuff for about 300 hours a year at a rough guess. This was new. It might have been ice for all I know, but it would have to have been the size of a town and it definitely wasn't in the atmosphere.
 

skinny

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A few weeks ago - I reckon it'll be 4 weeks tomorrow - Techy and I were at the petrol station till together waiting to pay for fuel or wine or whatever, when we both suddenly stumbled and nearly fell over. We were standing still, totally sober. It was as if the floor had tilted.

We went 'WTF?' and then it was our turn so we carried on and forgot about it for a few days. Maybe it was a little earthquake?
What does Techy think happened?
 

skinny

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Wasn't there a launch recently where a whole load of small satellites were released all at the same time?
They'd have very similar orbits, I'd think.
Interesting. Any reports of that event could be useful. I may have seen a conglomeration of many small birds appearing as two large ones.

Again, the strength of the shine was equivalent to the shine of the ISS, which, if you've seen it, is distinct from every other can in orbit.
 

EnolaGaia

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Seems plausable. Only thing is,
So different altitudes would likely mean a separate dimming time. I'm not doubting it was terrestrial. It was as bright as the ISS at peak glow. It had all the appearance of a docking of two massive stations. Is China hiding a low orbit colonisation enterprise? I'm serious.
OK - I have a better idea of what you saw now ... In your earlier post you described them as "in tandem", which would specifically mean a forward / rearward (ahead / behind; following) arrangement relative to the direction of movement.

Depending on the alignment and viewing angles involved, different altitudes wouldn't necessarily rule out simultaneous entry into shadow.

So ... If they were essentially side-by-side from your vantage point ... It sounds like a 2-flight (pair) of military aircraft.

It could also represent a pair of commercial aircraft using two parallel "lanes" of a prescribed / organized ATC track. Organized tracks (at least in / around CONUS) usually have at least two separate sub-tracks used for routing traffic in two directions - akin to the lanes of a two-lane highway., Heavily trafficked tracks can have any number of parallel prescribed "lanes" (sub-tracks). When traffic patterns result in most or all traffic heading in one direction during a certain timeframe (like commercial transatlantic traffic) it's common to use both / all sub-tracks for traffic moving in the same direction.
 

skinny

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It sounds like a 2-flight (pair) of military aircraft.
Possible. Hadn't thought of that. They'd have had to have been going many many mach at massive altitude. It was directly above the entire city. I'm wondering if there will be reports. Might check MUFON or whatever database is active for sightings.
It could also represent a pair of commercial aircraft
Nope. Way too fast. No strobes at all. I ruled it out as I was watching it.

The problem with both is also that the appearance started in the south-west at about 80deg as a very minor tiny dim wee thing moving along as a normal satellite would, and it was following a northern trajectory. We're in late winter/early spring. The sun had been down about 30 minutes but the sky above was fairly dark, despite the big moon that had been up for about two hours in the east. The southern cross was prominent in the SW, as was Scorpio at about 80deg west of me, which is what I was looking at when this thing appeared. So it was essentially night with a dim dusk glow on the western horizon. I had a scope of full sky to observe.

I'm going to track down a phone number and see if I can get an official on the blower to check this out. I'm intrigued. First authentic WTF moment in the sky for many years. Will post back on anything interesting I find out.

Thanks for the replies, guys. Stay tuned.
 

skinny

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No leads or reports of anything unusual.

Conclusion: I think Mytho has it closest. I reckon the twinning effect was a satellite launch event with the final staging section slowly separating from the satellite around the time of observation. Why it shone so brightly I really can't say. If the ISS is a magnitude 4.5, this was at least a 4. Really nice to watch.
 

EnolaGaia

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... I reckon the twinning effect was a satellite launch event with the final staging section slowly separating from the satellite around the time of observation. ...
Could it have been the most recent Chinese launch? ...

Two Earth-imaging satellites and an experimental solar sail payload rocketed into orbit Thursday aboard a Chinese Long March 4B launcher, the first flight for China’s Long March 4 rocket family since an upper stage failure in May.

The liquid-fueled Long March 4B rocket lifted off from the Taiyuan space center in northern China’s Shanxi province at 0326 GMT Thursday (11:26 p.m. EDT Wednesday), according to state media reports.
https://spaceflightnow.com/2019/09/...h-observing-satellites-solar-sail-experiment/
 

skinny

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That's it. You're proper clever, EG.

3am China is about 5am here yesterday, so they'd have been doing their seps around 6:30-7pm our time for sure.

It was an amazing big thing rolling out up there. I wonder if we could get some pics and some scale. I haven't time to look right now but I'm guessing it'll dwarf the ISS, whatever it is or is going to be.
Cheers, EG! Will shout you a pint or two in the Trolls later on. :atom:
 

Shady

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A few weeks ago - I reckon it'll be 4 weeks tomorrow - Techy and I were at the petrol station till together waiting to pay for fuel or wine or whatever, when we both suddenly stumbled and nearly fell over. We were standing still, totally sober. It was as if the floor had tilted.

We went 'WTF?' and then it was our turn so we carried on and forgot about it for a few days. Maybe it was a little earthquake?
Sometimes when you stand still for long enough, especially in a queue you can zone out, and can tend to rock slightly then jump and move forward so it feels like you are falling, sorry, i cant explain the feeling very well :( Bit like going into a trance
 
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