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Old 21-12-2021, 11:36 PM
star_soul (Meredith)
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Western Queensland Space Jellyfish

Hi... :-)

Thought that this event should be known, if not already.
Looking forward to reading explanations, comments, lively discussion etc, as I'm stumped. Also hoping that others saw it too. I have no recorded proof/evidence, apart from the whole scenario being seared into my memory. :-)

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Aug 29, 2021.
Approx 9pm.
Lat: -23.44 Lon: 144.28
Clear sky, dark charcoal in colour, southerly half full moon.

Went outside to top up the nicotine level and view the sky. As I walked towards the garden fence (roughly 3m away), I looked towards NW between the shed next door and our tree, where I saw a beam of (glittery, white/blue, not-quite-opaque, straight but rough edges, bit thicker towards the middle or two internal lines) light, sweep (what looked like) up and sideways towards me from a ground origin in the north. This beam of light did not “shoot out” as such, and appeared to grow longer as it travelled upwards. First thought was “the airport light’s a bit off”. Our local airport has a big rotating searchlight on one of the hangars and it can be seen from here when on (however it’s more a wide dispersed beam and in a different position).

Continued moving towards the garden fence, until I reach my optimum sky viewing spot (least light intrusion). Had my glasses on, unusually.

As I was watching the light beam reaching way up there was this single noise. No echo. Not overly loud, not a bang, boom, crack or anything sharp. More a “pop”. Very much like the noise that comes from wetting your finger and flicking it out from inside your cheek. I quickly looked down the length of the light beam and back up again; where there was, just past the end of the beam; a hole in the sky with a physical object coming through it. If I was standing at a 6 o’clock mark, this object was coming towards me between 7 and 8 (so not a direct path).

This object was a shiny dark silver bullet shape. Small in comparison, it was surrounded by a blue/white/green/purple tinted tear/water droplet-shaped “bubble” (object was located just back from the front of the bubble). The bullet” inside this bubble had thin white lines streaming from it and looked like a lead pencil tip being gently pushed against gladwrap. The tear shaped bubble had a defined thin dark border, surrounded on the outside by a thin, wispy, glittery "aura" and a twist in the tail, like it had spiralled clockwise at least once. Both the hole and the object appeared simultaneously. The bubble and its encased object appeared to be mostly through the hole (the leading edge was covering up some of the lower hole rim, but the tail appeared to still be in the centre of the hole.

The hole itself was a perfect circle, with a thin mostly solid ring of white/grey "smoke" for the border, with curls and wisps emanating out anti-clockwise around the circumference. The interior of the hole was jet black. Like black as. No stars or anything light visible within. An obvious contrast with the rest of the sky.

By this time I am _really_ staring at this thing, and realising that 1. it’s REALLY high up, 2. it’s travelling very quickly, and 3. it's too late to grab a recording device. Then, as I was watching, the bubble, the hole and the light beam disappeared. Didn’t blink out, just faded fast. I thought that the bullet shape would still be visible being a moving physical thing, but could not locate it anywhere along its original trajectory. No trail, no reflections. Gone.

The whole episode from initial sighting of light beam to clear sky would have
taken about 12 seconds.
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The accompanying composite image was created with Photoshop®, and is not-to-scale, however it is as accurate as my memory and digital image manipulation skills allow. The image has been compressed so it would meet file upload size. Document and image are ©.
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  #2  
Old 12-03-2023, 10:35 AM
star_soul (Meredith)
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Hi again...
After all this time I have finally figured out what I saw. It was the launch of the SpaceX CRS-23/Falcon9. Launched from Kennedy Centre in Florida USA, and witnessed in outback Queensland (15000km distance). Feel quite privileged really. :-)
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Old 13-03-2023, 02:35 PM
Shasta55 (Chris)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by star_soul View Post
Hi again...
After all this time I have finally figured out what I saw. It was the launch of the SpaceX CRS-23/Falcon9. Launched from Kennedy Centre in Florida USA, and witnessed in outback Queensland (15000km distance). Feel quite privileged really. :-)

Well nobody else had an explanation so - well done. I think you were pretty lucky too. Fair bit of WoW factor IMO.

For interest, it sounds like this was a naked eye observation, right? If so, it's got me wondering how it'd go from B3 skies near where I live south west of Perth, using 10x50 binos & having my scope at the ready. Maybe I'll keep an eye on Spacex launch schedules.
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Old 02-04-2023, 09:48 AM
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astroron (Ron)
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Hi Meredith I have only just seen this post
and was jus about too reply to you.
What you described except for any sound was
the launch of a rocket.
Your description was a near image of what we
experienced at the Queensland Astrofest about
6 years? ago.
We observed it through telescopes from 30" inch
and my 16 inch for quite a bit of time till it was
lost in the mist of the central Milky Way.
We even watched the separation of a stage of
the rocket and could see it heading on its way to it's
eventual orbit of around 30,000 kms.
It turned out to be an American Spy Satellite
You have very good observational skills,
and great sky's
Well done
Cheers
PS, One small tip
Always take your binoculars with you on your walks
you never know when they will come in handy,
whether for looking up, or even wildlife.
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Old 02-04-2023, 10:13 AM
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astroron (Ron)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shasta55 View Post
Well nobody else had an explanation so - well done. I think you were pretty lucky too. Fair bit of WoW factor IMO.

For interest, it sounds like this was a naked eye observation, right? If so, it's got me wondering how it'd go from B3 skies near where I live south west of Perth, using 10x50 binos & having my scope at the ready. Maybe I'll keep an eye on Spacex launch schedules.
Chris, you would have 4 times the observing experience
using your 10x50 binoculars.
I have a pair of 8x42 binos which I take with me every time
I leave the house for a walk,day or night.
they come in handy quite a lot,whether for wildlife or night
sky viewing.
There's lots to see in the Milky Way Galaxy and beyond with 10x50 binoculars.
Cheers

PS You can also use them to check on those pesky UFO'S.
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Old 23-05-2023, 01:00 AM
star_soul (Meredith)
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Thanks Shasta55 and astroron for the replies. :-)

I actually felt pretty stupid that it took that long to figure it out. Obviously over thinking it at the time. Even so, I did do searches for rocket launches, but not thoroughly enough.

Still have some queries though: what would have been the source of the sound I heard? Why did everything disappear? Also, is it actually possible for someone to witness an astronomical event that happened 15000km away? I'm not real up on orbital mechanics. ;-)

Shasta55: yes, a naked eye observation. Right place, right time. Massive odds...shoulda got a Lotto!

astroron: binoculars now live on the verandah table. :-)
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