Minor Strangeness

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.
 
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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?
 
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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.
 
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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.
 
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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/
 
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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
 

escargot

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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
Yup, I know what you mean. There was no zoning-out though, it was a busy place with a fast-moving queue (expert servers) and we two were chatting. It felt as if the ground tilted.
 

Vardoger

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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.
Swamp gas. I rest my case.
 

EnolaGaia

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Photo taken through a window and the lights are reflections from the harbour? Perhaps also shaking a little while taking the photo?
The shaking definitely has something to do with it, whether or not the photo was taken through a window. The individual items within the two rows of additional lights align with one or another of the rows of "real" lights below, so I'm confident they're secondary reflections from the brightest elements of the visible scene.

Depending on what sort of camera was used, they might represent reflections within the camera's optics (lens(-es)).

The "taken through a window" hypothesis would explain why these secondary reflections are color-shifted to a blueish / greenish tint.
 

Spudrick68

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No I was on a balcony with no glass in between. There is a slight blur because of a slight rock on the tripod.

Some are stars as the blur is in the same direction.

But i took another one later and there is nothing on that one.

There was a slight shake on the tripod with this photo though.

Another taken a short while later for comparison: View attachment 03_ Night Harbour3 low.jpg
 
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