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The WEIRD SCIENCE PAGE database of

UNUSUAL ASTRONOMICAL PHENOMENA

UPDATED: June 2012
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Please forgive my poor description and terminology, I am only a man. On the 16th May 2012 at 2.10am AEST in the country town of Grafton, in Australia, looking NNW at approximately 30-35 degrees elevation I saw what can only be described as a Supernova? (star exploding?) it lasted 1 to 2 seconds only... but a star? got really bright then vanished...It was totally amazing!!
John Parkes <pixieparkes a live com>
Grafton, nsw Australia - Sunday, May 20, 2012 at 19:01:55 (PDT)


I observed the following with a group of about a dozen others while camping out in the Badlands of North Dakota in August of 1998.

To set this up, the night was clear and we were camped out with no trees or other objects to obscure a long flat view in all directions. There were white fluctuating lights, presumably aurora, to the North. Not particularly spectacular, and no other significant lights aside from maybe a dim glow from a distant town. No or few clouds in the sky. All is normal up until what we saw next.

A beam appeared from the aurora, also white, that extended all the way directly overhead and almost to the opposite horizon. Sort of like a spotlight, but shimmering like the main bulk of aurora. Then a second beam appeared, perpendicular to the first, also extending from near horizon to near horizon on both sides. This lasted for several minutes before slowly fading away.

I presume this was aurora, but I've never heard of such a manifestation as this before. I hope someone who knows about these things can provide some insight. Thanks!


Rick Osberg <rickosberg a yahoo com>
Boston, MA USA - Saturday, February 25, 2012 at 18:33:21 (PST)



Book ad: Tesla coil murder mystery at the University of Washington, A Spark of Death, by Bernadette Pager

At 10:00pm August 29/2011, I saw what looked like a big spotlight in the sky, in laymens terms a "UFO". About the size of a dime to the naked eye and very bright. I know it wasn't a plane or sat and it wasn't blinking, just moving at a steady pace from a N.N.W. direction to a S.S.E tragectory. It only lasted about 15 seconds and then it faded until I couldn't see it anymore.
Dan Tenthorey
Bancroft, ON CANADA - Monday, August 29, 2011 at 20:32:08 (PDT)


My friend and I took an unexpected spur of the moment trip to Las Vegas. The highway patrol told me on my cell-phone on Wednesday the 8 2010 that my son was taken off the freeway to a hospital in Las Vegas. I was in shock and immediately asked my close friend to accompany me to Las Vegas. We were driving somewhere between Bakersfield and the Majave Desert when I saw a falling star. That was great but we had traveled not too much further a half hour or so and saw another. After we were in the Tehachipi mountain range we witnessed two more of these. So four falling stars in total. Is that unusual for this area-I had not been to Las Vegas since 1994-When my boyfriend now husband flew m there by plane. It was a very usual trip to say the least. A wonderful phenomena for us to witness.God was with us on this trip so maybe he decided to give us a show. Thanks God
Susan Turgeon <turgeon.susan at attdot net -000008>
Fresno, Ca USA - Sunday, December 12, 2010 at 13:44:39 (PST)



dont know what it was at approximately 11:30 pm wed. nov 10 till 12:30 am the 11th. I saw a very large object in the sky. I was wondering if there are any comets or similar in the northern hemisphere. the only time I have seen anything like this was when the last comet ( dont remember its name ) was easily visible with the naked eye. I think it is jupiter that is the brightest light in the sky right now, but it is to the south, this was to the north and no it wasnt the north star Ive been looking at the north star since I was a cub scout. I checked sky watch and the longest visibility period for the whole month is 5 minutes. At arms length the object occupied about the same field of view as the nail on my little finger. from where I was it did not appear to be moveing. I looked at it with a 9X scope, that didnt help any, low light and optics arent always the best of friends. I dont think it was in the confines of our atmosphere. I think It was an asteroid , comet, meteor or something but it sure hung around for a while. So I was wondering what it was, I dont keep up on astronomy so the chances are good that I accidently found something that the entire country has been looking at, but I didnt hear about it.
ken snyder
USA - Thursday, November 11, 2010 at 01:18:09 (PST)



One evening,in either '08 or '09,I was in my cousins swimming pool.At the time,she lived pretty close to the Reno Airport,so we saw alotta planes.But on this night,we saw a plane,that turned into an orb of light,and back into a plane.Then,it suddenly disappeared.I also saw the same thing with a helicopter in 2010.
Jack Rice <gtpwnd at gmaildot com>
USA - Wednesday, April 07, 2010 at 18:43:35 (PDT)



It was around 3am 1996 ?, when I woke up and found in the sky two moons, but one appeared to be larger than the other, and, stood steady. I woke up the whole family to see, and,I watched this until I fell back to sleep. It was so strange ,and today, I still don't know what it was that I saw. If there is someone out there that saw what I did, I would love to know.
Rachel <Wishpearls at aoldot com>
USA - Saturday, December 26, 2009 at 13:22:04 (PST)



On the night of Mar. 6, 2009 at 7:42 PM. cst, while sitting outside having a drink with my wife, I observed a strange sight. I was showing her some stars/planets. Orion was in full view with very few clouds in the sky. We live in a small town about 30 miles N. of Dallas, so we have a good view of the night sky. I was looking directly at Orion when (about mid way between Rigal and Saiph)I saw what appeared to be a nova!! It started as a pinhole size dot of very bright white light that grew to about twice the size of Rigal then faded away at about the same rate. The whole event lasted about 2-3 seconds. I have seen many satellites, meteors, even the ISS, but I have never seen anything that came close to this kind of "flash". Reflections from satellites have a distinct sort of light usually moves across the sky. In my opinion this event was much, much further away. I plan to contact someone in the astronomy field to see if anyone else saw this event.
Scott Malone <info at malonecabinetsdot comxx>
Dallas, Tx USA - Saturday, March 07, 2009 at 07:57:10 (PST)



One night between 1980 and 1984 (I only remember this because I know the car I was driving) my mother and I were headed north on William Floyd Parkway on Eastern Long Island. My mother pointed to a light in the sky that was the size a big street light would be if it were really a street lamp on the side of the road (or the size a beach ball would appear relative to you if it was ten feet off the ground) but this was too high in the sky for me to approximate the distance. It just seemed too huge to be that far away, we could not figure out what it was. It was traveling slowly enough that, in awe, I stopped in the middle of the road to watch its decent. Thankfully there was no traffic at all. It must have been very late. We watched it slowly arc across the sky above us toward Long Island Sound. It perhaps was moving toward us for a while because it took a long time for me to comprehend what was going on because it almost seemed not to be moving but hovering. After a while it became obvious it was very far away, very large and moving toward us, over our heads. It seemed to be heading right for the water. I was positive it would be on the news but I called everybody I knew and nobody saw it or heard anything about it. We seem to be the only two who saw it.
Ruth
Wading River, NY USA - Monday, February 16, 2009 at 19:50:38 (PST)




**UNUSUAL WEATHER**
yesterday night i was out behind my house building a snowman. it was around ten oclock at night. the sky was covered with a blanket of grey clouds witch were steadaly sprinkaling snow down on the town of waterloo , iowa.

around ten o'five i was putting on his carrot nose and i drooped it. the entire night sky lit up the kind of neon blue you only experience in some sort of bad acid trip.

the bluish glow only lasted for about 5 seconds and it was twice as dark arter the happening than it was before.

it knocked the electricity of the entire block for about two seconds. no lightning bolt was seen, and no boom was heard. so i dont know how the electrical lines were even damaged.

i dont have any idea what this is and it wasnt reportyed the next day on the news.

what happened?

kayla <frozenkeys24 at yahoodot com>
waterloo, ia USA - Sunday, November 30, 2008 at 16:12:36 (PST)



Last night, September 09th at 11:00 pm, my husband and I were coming back from Miami International airport westbound heading for Naples, FL. As you now, Hurricane Ike was just leaving Cuba, so its outter bands were hitting us hard with a lot of rain and several isolated tornadoes. Well, as we were driving on I-75, all of the sudden we see the entire sky light up in a baby blue with light green colors as if someone had just turned on the lights!! It looked like daytime and it lasted for about 3-5 seconds. We don't know exactly what it was, but we figure from all the reports and other readings, that it was a ball lightning or maybe a plasmoid tornado? who knows... Luckily for us, we made it safe to Naples and did not encounter any tornadoes on the way.
If any of you have experienced this, let me know...

Veronica <anamenard at yahoodot com>
mikosuki reservation, FL USA - Wednesday, September 10, 2008 at 13:04:15 (PDT)



on the night of june 29 2008duering an airsoft battle, my brothers my cousin and i saw some thing that i can not explain.At about eleven thirty pm my brother and i were sitting in a field by a big oak tree when suddenly the whole field lit up, i looked around the tree and saw a bright blue light flying across the sky.I watched the light fly for about 2 seconds before it broke into two orange balls and disappeared.To my disbelief my two other brothers and my cousin saw allmost the same thing over three hundred yards away wile in the woods.
dalton reinke
montgomery, tx USA - Monday, June 30, 2008 at 11:48:24 (PDT)



As a child, I had the good fortune to live out in the country where the perfectly black sky above my house displayed the stars and planets very well. My father, on the Christmas of 1994, gave me a field guide to the night sky. I decided to learn the winter constellations and studied everynight until the spring. I have a few odd things I witnessed, but I will relate only one instance. I was studying the constellation Auriga, with only my eyes, and witnessed a non-blinking bright ball (about as bright as Auriga's Capella) passing through the constellation. It could have been a very high-flying plane or weather balloon, but I don't know... As it crossed near Capella(in my perspective), the light stopped moving slightly and very suddenly flew up in a fast arch (a short light tale did appear, but it was the same magnitude as the head). I can only say that it resembled a meteor when falling, but only in reverse, i.e. large to small. Then it vanished. I still look up at Auriga and wonder what exactly I saw.
J.Thompson <haley145>
SC USA - Monday, May 12, 2008 at 10:12:02 (PDT)



Hi. I had a sighting of a double moon in late October, 1995. Here are the details.

It had been an unusually warm and dry winter so far that year. I was on picket duty in late October, 1995, when I saw something I will never forget. Around 10:00 a.m. I happened to look straight up in the sky and saw the moon. It appeared very large and was about 3/4 full (sorry, I don't know the proper term). After staring at it for a couple of minutes, it occurred to me that it was in the wrong part of the sky. That's when I looked southward, towards the horizon and saw it again. I did a double-, triple-, quadruple-take! I couldn't believe my eyes. I did a comparison and the moons were identical.

I was alone that day. picketing a lesser-used back entrance to Fred Meyer main office, in Portland, OR. I couldn't believe my bad luck - that day there was noone there to be a witness to what I was seeing! I even tried to stop a couple of bicyclists to get them to stop and look up to the sky to see what I was seeing. I guess they figured I was crazy, as they wouldn't stop for me but kept riding on.

I continued to look back and forth, at the moon in the sky above and the one at the horizon. Until it made me dizzy. I kept expecting the one overhead to disappear. After awhile, I guess I got tired of looking at them, especially with noone to discuss them with. My attention wandered and before I knew it, it was afternoon and my husband was picking me up. I looked for the moons, but, of course, they were gone. He didn't believe that I had really seen what I had seen.

So that was that. Every so often, I Google the internet looking for any mention of two moons being sighted in the sky at once. I have found one about a double-crescent moon (http://www.bautforumdot com/astronomy/16233-help-ignorant-english-major-double-crescent-moon.html) and two moons on the horizon with one a little higher than the other (http://forums.xkcddot com/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=16866&p=514965#p514965). But no others quite like my double-moon sighting.

And no, I wasn't drinking or on drugs, and I am not crazy. I have always thought of myself as a logical-thinking individual with my feet firmly planted on the ground. Boy did this experience rock my boat!

Gina Barker <ginabarker at yahoo . com>
WA USA - Tuesday, February 05, 2008 at 23:12:11 (PST)



Tonight, Dec 10 2007 from approx 1850 to 1915 EST I observed luminance in the high southwest sky. It appeared to be the size of a full moon, indistinct in shape, and varied in intensity similar to aurora borealus. Maybe a comet almost full on? During the time I observed it travelled some five degrees northeast to zenith. Clouding obscured it by 1930
Steve Woolfrey <loco_lobo2003 at yahoo ca>
USA - Monday, December 10, 2007 at 16:28:20 (PST)



It is now 6:05 a.m. September 12, 2007
I got up to go to the bathroom around 5:am, afterward I passed the sliding glass door facing east. I usually look out at the lights of Placerville, CA and the stars. I saw this extremely bright light, it looked about 6-10 times greater than venus on a good night. I looked and the light seemed to stream out from it slightly, suddenly the light grew fainter and fainter until it reached a bare pinpoint size. Then, it grew bigger and bigger until it reached its original size. I ran to get my son who is taking astronomy. He came out and saw the same pheonomena. He said: "you may be watching a supernova," I pressed him to stay and watch longer but I know he saw it at least twice almost disappear and then grow to a bright object that seemed to have light pushing out form it, not an orb but more like if you squint and light is fractured outward. I watched it happen a couple more times and ran to get the bionoculars and mini telescope. I could only see a little closer and brighter what I had seen with my naked eye. I couldn't get the telescope to work correctly since it had been knocked over and the lense has a problem. It is now 6:11 a.m. and the object seems to be continuing in a normal eastward to westward movement just like a planet or star. Facing east, orion is on the right and straight forward is this bright star shape. It now looks more like a venus star. But what could have that disappearing act have been and happening at least 6 times under the observation of two people for at least two of those times? It is very creepy to see something really happen and later on everything begins to look normal. I know what I saw. If anyone saw the same thing, please post a note here. Thank you.

Nicole Carlson <xxxxxnicolemail at eldoradohispeeddot com>
Shingle Springs, CA USA - Wednesday, September 12, 2007 at 06:21:36 (PDT)



Mid-day, end of August 1968 (or 69), in Notrh Miami Beach, Florida. We were at least 2,000 people in that section of the beach, by the pier, when we heard a loud (pyrotechnic kind of) bang above in the sky, away from the shore. Then we saw a large green circular shape. Everybody was watching it with awe. After a few seconds, it started spreading very fast. At that point, everyone went into panic mode and ran in all directions. The shape kept spreading until it
covered about 3/4 of the sky. Then it vanished just as quickly as it had appeared. The whole incident lasted no more than a minute.

I have reported this incident once before, to some other site but I never got any feedback.

Regards,

LM

Louis Methot <lmethot at videotron dotca>
Quebec, Qc CDN - Thursday, August 16, 2007 at 16:08:30 (PDT)



On June 28, 2007, at about 1 a.m., in Ridgewood, NJ, while standing with a group of friends outside, all of a sudden the whole sky lit up (looked like a flash grenade went off) for a solid second and there was a strange groaning mechanical noise heard. It had been raining earlier in the day, thundering and lightning, but it had stopped by this time. Did anyone else see or hear this? It was so unusual that we actually thought it was a nuclear bomb being set off. It happened twice in sequence. Any explanations? It definitely was NOT heat lightning because of the noise and the length of time we observed it.
Justin Alvarez <justinalvar at aoldot com>
Ridgewood, NJ USA - Thursday, June 28, 2007 at 21:00:43 (PDT)



While driving down Hillside avenue in Spencer, around 11:45 pm, I noticed a very odd, vivid flickering reflection of light off of the road and surrounding trees. When I leaned forward to look into the Northern sky (which was to my left) I saw what at first looked like a vividly bright purple commet with a very bright green aura around the main body and medium bright orange-yellow flame like tail. It was not small by any means, and seemed to be traveling very slow. I immediately stopped in the street and got out to look. The entire event lasted around 2 or 3 min.. There were no sounds associated with the event, and the ending to the show was due to the object passing behind faraway trees, and out of my view. Hopefully someone else saw this too, let me know. Occurred around summer 2002.
JP <peanutt765 at yahoodot commmm>
Spencer, IN USA - Saturday, April 14, 2007 at 23:01:26 (PDT)



Did anyone see a double eclipse on or about Oct.28 2005. First the shadow of the earth moved across the surface of the moon from left to right. Then about 35 minutes later from right to left? I know there is an explanation such as alignment and all but why wouldnt it be reported as a special lunar event?
Kenneth Jordan <outwitd at yahoodot com123>
Dallas, Tx USA - Tuesday, March 20, 2007 at 21:29:21 (PDT)



A friend and I were driving into Hamilton Square in New Jersey and expirenced something thats kinda hard to explain but i will try my best. It was about 8:00pm on November 14, 2006. We were turning onto Rt. 33 and straight ahead of us we saw a huge blue light in the sky off into the distance. And this was nothing like anything ive ever seen. After a few seconds of silence my friend said quietly "did you just see that?" at that point i knew my eyes werent playing tricks on me. Now i know the first thing someone would say when reading this would be "lightning". Iv'e seen lightning before and this was very different. It was like a giant dome or aura of bright and deep blue light almost in the shape of a rounded triangle, like an explosion of light. It pulsed for a few seconds the disipated. it was the strangest thing ive seen and ive looked all around in newspapers for reports of it and had no luck. I doubt ill ever know exaclty what it was.
Thomas Melito <ThomasJMelitoat yahoodot com>
Hamilton, NJ USA - Friday, December 08, 2006 at 08:17:02 (PST)



It was 1975 and I was attending a University of Tulsa football game. Sitting in the stands, I looked up into the night sky. It was crystal clear with a myriad of stars brightly illumined. As I looked, I saw an object, which seemed to be among the stars. Suddenly, it darted from one end of the sky to the other, zig-zagging across the spectrum. And then it was gone.

I've thought of this night often but have only told one or two others of it. I'd like to believe what I saw was a satellite, or that my eyes were playing tricks on me. Neither would be true.

I saw what I saw. And in my grid of being a Bible believing conservative person, what I saw doesn't make sense. Still and yet, it happened on that cold and dark night in 1975.

J Lamb
Arlington, TX USA - Friday, April 01, 2005 at 19:39:25 (PST)



A couple of years ago, I was going for a late night walk alone through my neighborhood. I was feeling kind of depressed about some difficulties I had been dealing with in my life. Suddenly I came to the realization that all the hard times I had to live through were very valuable experiences because they made me into the person who I was. And I gave a moment of sincere thanks to the Universe for everything, all the good and the bad things that I had experienced, because every moment was truly a treasure in its own way. Then, just at that second, I felt compelled to look up into the sky--I don't know why--but as I looked up, I saw the most beautiful shooting star that I have ever seen. It was very low to the ground, and so close that I could see the sparks shooting out of it and I could actually hear it as it passed. It sounded like very fine broken glass tinkling gently. All this may have been a mere coincidence, but it was still very meaningful to me. I feel as though the Universe heard my prayer of thanks and responded in kind. And I will always remember this night as not only a turning point in my life, but also as one of my most beautiful memories. Thank you.
Mark M.
Minneapolis, MN USA - Thursday, June 20, 2002 at 21:05:16 (PDT)



At 3PM on 08-06-02, I observed an unusual object in the sky. Looking up at the clouds (for no apparent reason), towards the southwest from my backyard located in Beaverton, OR. a silver or metallic object caught my eye.

At first I assumed it was only a high flying Jet or Plane until I noticed that it wasn't moving. I looked at it hard to try and estimate how high it was and lost it a few times behind moving clouds.

After the clouds moved on, I found it still in the same area. That's when I went inside to get my binocular to try and see it's shape or markings.

I monitored it for well over an hour but it was out of range for my 10X50 lenses. I also noticed it did move very slowly about the same speed as the rotation on Earth. So it had to be floating up pretty high in space. But if it was a satilte it would have moved across the sky.

If I had to guess what it was, I would have to say it was something reflecting the sunlight from space. It had to be very large, because the airline type planes that normaly fly over our house were smaller.

I wondered if it was one of the space stations. But I thought they were in constant motion too just like satilites.

No explaination.

J.Nelson
J Nelson
Beaverton, OR USA - Wednesday, August 07, 2002 at 20:55:03 (PDT)



It was spring, 1977 and my brother had just gotten home from university. We were sitting outside enjoying the nice weather and full moon. To the east of our house about five miles is Logansport. Suddenly, without any kind of noise or change in the ambient light, a large dome of pearlescant light seemed to billow up from the ground. As it hung in the air, several pastel colored lights blinked on and off inside the dome. After a few seconds, it 'deflated' and disappeared. I looked in the newspaper to see if anyone else had reported seeing it, but there was nothing ever reported. Has anyone else ever seen anything like this?
Richard Caudle <richard a cqc com>
Logansport, IN USA - Saturday, September 05, 1998 at 21:21:58 (PDT)



I was having a smoke the other night, Sunday 16th, in Linton, Cambridgeshire. I was in the garden, it was pleasently calm, the stars where very bright. All of a sudden one of the stars started moving, it moved accross the night sky, from above my head to the horizon in about 10 minutes. It had a slight arc to its trajectory. It looked really weird, there was no sound and I had no idea what was going on.
Chris Rossy <radiator a globalnet com>
London, UK - Monday, May 18, 1998 at 13:36:33 (PDT)



Following up to my observation of an unusual aurora type pheneomena that I reported on 7 October 1996 below, I have included a photograph at the URL above. For more aurora images, see my homepage at:

http://climate.gi.alaska edu/Curtis/curtis.html

Feedback received has suggest a stationary red aurora at high altitude or street pillars (similar to sun/moon pillars) due to ice crystal reflection. Both theories seem weak due to the fact that the rays in the photo don't converge to magnitude north nor do they converge overhead as would pillars do. Pillars also never extended above 30-45 degrees above the horizon. The image show was at 75 degs above the horizon.

Regards,
Jan Curtis

Jan Curtis <jcurtis>
Fairbanks, AK USA - Thursday, December 05, 1996 at 11:09:03 (PST)



It was the day of the lunar eclipse. I went outside looking for the moon, not sure where in the sky it would be. I think it was just a few minutes before the moon actually showed up in the east (roughly). I was drawn to something just 180 degrees out from where the moon eventually showed up. I was looking across a valley toward Everett, WA from my home in Snohomish. What I saw was like a cigar shape, bright white, like a cloud. The only problem was that it was the only object visible in the sky. There were no other clouds anywhere. It was light, not twilight yet, appoximately 6:00 P.M. Now, this object was moving at a constant rate (roughly) due South. I estimate the length at 500-1000 feet based on the distance away. Once it disappeared behind a tree, I never saw it emerge again. I even called where I work (approx. right under where this object seemed to be floating. Unfortuneately, my co-worker was not answering the phone, so I couldn't get her to go out and verify if it was a cloud or what. Is it possible that it was phenomena associated with the eclipse? Was I seeing a reflected corona or something, since it seemed to be 180 degrees out? Any thoughts would be appreciated. Also, did anyone else see anything similar?
Thanks, dobe

Dobe Doinat <dobe a eskimo.com>
Snohomish, WA USA - Monday, October 07, 1996 at 07:56:21 (PDT)



On 27 September 1996, at 11PM A.S.T., an aurora in the shape of of jet's contrail was observed 75 degs above the nne horizon. This red band was about 5 degs long and 1 deg wide and did not move for at least 20 minutes despite other northern light activity nearby. I captured the phenomena on film with 85 mm lens at f/1.4 for 10 secs using 400 speed color print film. There are no known upper atmospheric rocket experiments conducted that day. The image on film is distinct and resembles somewhat a corona aurora display converging overhead but with no movement or structural change. Experts at the geophysical institute at UAF cannot explain the effect that I captured. The moon was one day past full (lunar eclipse occurred the night before). Some very high thin cirrus clouds were nearby with the moon about 45 degs away. It was not lens flair since the object was visible naked eye.
Jan Curtis <jcurtis a gi.alaska.edu>
Fairbanks, AK USA - Monday, October 07, 1996 at 21:33:36 (PDT)



 

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