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Thread: What is it?

  1. #1
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    What is it?

    I say it is a supernova. I was manually focusing on a nearby star and found this object during the post processing.

    What is it?

    This was the best I could get after editing and cropping.

  2. #2

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    Re: What is it?

    Wow ! That's a pretty amazing capture if its a super nova.

    On the other hand, could it be the moon through the wrong end of a telescope ?

  3. #3
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    Re: What is it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pandrion View Post
    Wow ! That's a pretty amazing capture if its a super nova.

    On the other hand, could it be the moon through the wrong end of a telescope ?
    I have a telescope and if it had been setup properly I could have captured this image at 1000mm. But at the time I didn't even know what it was or that it was even there.

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    Re: What is it?

    I'm sure that you're enquiring into it John, its certainly a very interesting capture.
    It looks like a well defined spherical body lit from a side rather than a source of energy or light itself.

    Well, if you are able to get some informed opinions about the mysterious object please keep us informed. There must be a lot of us who'd like to know more.

  5. #5
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    Re: What is it?

    I see no reference stars to know where in the sky it was and when the shot was taken is critically important too.

    What is the angular size of the field of view ? That too would be helpful information.

  6. #6

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    Re: What is it?

    Death Star?

  7. #7
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    Re: What is it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Steaphany View Post
    I see no reference stars to know where in the sky it was and when the shot was taken is critically important too.

    What is the angular size of the field of view ? That too would be helpful information.
    Steaphany,

    Here is what I can provide.

    1. I live on the ninth floor and the camera was pointed at about a 60 degree angle.
    2. I was facing WNW.
    3. The date was September 12th and the shot was taken around midnight.

  8. #8
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    Re: What is it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pandrion View Post
    I'm sure that you're enquiring into it John, its certainly a very interesting capture.
    It looks like a well defined spherical body lit from a side rather than a source of energy or light itself.

    Well, if you are able to get some informed opinions about the mysterious object please keep us informed. There must be a lot of us who'd like to know more.
    A few reference points so far.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_xRrY6KphFw

  9. #9
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    Re: What is it?

    Hi John.

    Interesting capture, no doubt!

    Below is a screen shot taken from my Stellarium program. I set it to show the night sky in
    a W-NW direction exactly as it would appear at midnight on 9/12/11, and from NY City, NY.

    Anything look familiar?

    stellarium-000.jpg

    There was a full Moon that night, also, so that plus the light pollution from the city would
    probably pretty much wipe out any chances of your imaging anything but the brightest objects.

    It does have an appearance like that of Mars, but Mars had risen in the East, and was
    sitting under two fairly bright stars (Castor and Pollux).

    There is also a complete absence of any background stars, which tends to lead me into
    thinking you caught some suspended object that was not too distant from the lens. Definitely
    a bit of a mystery object, no doubt!

    Mike
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  10. #10
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    Re: What is it?

    Nah. Too tidy and neat around the edges for a Super Nova. Could it be a related type of Nova? Maybe it could be blamed on the Bossa Nova?
    old ucci

  11. #11
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    Re: What is it?

    According to the EXIF data, this photo was taken with FL 300mm, f/5.6, 1/30 sec @ ISO 1600. In short, this is a fairly bright object with a resolved image (not a point source). Since it's not Mars, it's definitely atmospheric... and since it appears to be spherical, it's almost certainly a balloon. I have seen balloons something like this, and the appearance can be misleading. Many balloons have internal light sources and panel patterns (for aviation safety, of course), which would explain the brightness and light pattern. Given the location, I'm suspect this one was almost surely tethered, and probably not terribly far away (~20 miles??? Just a wild guess, but impossible to say with the crop).

    FWIW, a supernova this bright would have made headlines... and not just in Astronomy journals and magazines.

  12. #12
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    Re: What is it?

    Mike,

    I grew up in the New York metropolitan area and despite the very significant light pollution, the sky was never an absolute pure black. First, I would expect any night shot of the New York area sky would have been fogged by the light from the ground. If you look at the mystery image, it's a pure uniform black.

    Also, the New York sky has stars. There aren't many, but the sky has a sufficient number of bright start to be visible and allow recognition of constellations - nothing.

    For any digital camera, I would expect that there would have been a level of noise, again - nothing.

    I would really love to get a copy of the actual RAW file from the camera, lacking any PP, cropping, and potential noise reduction. Then I'd say there would be a chance and solving this mystery.

  13. #13
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    Re: What is it?

    Actually there was a supernova discovered last month that was brightest between September 9th and September 12th, named "PTF 11kly". It is in the Pinwheel galaxy. It's brighter now than all the stars in the galaxy, and super close (only 20 million light years away, whereas most are about one to four billion light years away). They were saying that it could be viewed with a good pair of binoculars, so I'm sure your camera did the trick.

    Using the Stellarium picture from Dizzy, it would be on the far right-hand side (probably just off the image), about a 3/4 of the way up. It's just off the last two stars in the big dipper (if you take those two stars and make an equilateral triangle with the point headed North and it's right there at the point of the equilateral triangle). However, NPR was interviewing the researcher who discovered it & I thought I remembered them saying it would look like a fuzzy spot or little cloud...
    Last edited by LoveYosemite; 16th September 2011 at 03:49 AM.

  14. #14
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    Re: What is it?

    Steaphany - 100% agreed. No ground light is in the image, and at full size the background
    does show some dots, but I am not sure if they are simply noise, or could be a star
    background. This almost looks like one of Jupiter's moons.

    Yosemite: That would be the newly found Supernova in M101, which sits triangulated
    with Mizar and Alkaid: (click thumbnail)

    stellarium-000.jpg

    They said it could be found with a decent pair of bino's, but there's more than a few of us
    that gave it a serious try and came up empty. I found M101 (and also M51, much tougher
    bino target), but could not define a SN. In 10x50 binoculars, most galaxies and distant DSO
    will appear as an undefined, small fuzzy spot in bino's, and even in most smaller aperture
    scopes. Some of the more defined clusters (M13, M44, NGC 869) are superb bino targets,
    but I could not imagine this level of definition on any SN in bino's, ever. They just don't look
    like that.

    FWIW, Sky and Telescope magazine says that the Supernova in M101 is holding at a Mag 10.

    http://www.skyandtelescope.com/obser...128430288.html

    That's SN is not what we're seeing.

    Snarkbyte said it best:

    According to the EXIF data, this photo was taken with FL 300mm, f/5.6, 1/30 sec
    @ ISO 1600. In short, this is a fairly bright object with a resolved image (not a point source).
    ISO 1600 and 1/30s might capture the Moon OK, but there's not even a sliver of a chance
    that 1/30s at that speed would grab a DSO, especially at that level of resolution. Also, the
    EXIF shows the image was taken at 19:42 (7:45PM).

    John, if your serious (and only with your approval) I would be glad to share the image with
    the hardcore astrophotographers over on my astronomy site. We're proud to say some of the
    best in the world are members there, and if anyone can ultimately sort out what this object
    is, it will be that lot.

    Mike
    Last edited by Dizzy; 16th September 2011 at 04:37 AM.

  15. #15
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    Re: What is it?

    I saved the file, and then blew it out a bit...to 400x, 600x and 800x. The definition
    is interesting, as is the density of the image (see the thumbnails, below). No degradation
    of the object, all the way out to 800x.

    400x 2vtwmrn2a 400x.jpg

    600x 2vtwmrn 600x.jpg

    800x 2vtwmrn2 800x.jpg

    This is not an object in space.
    Last edited by Dizzy; 16th September 2011 at 04:58 AM.

  16. #16
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    Re: What is it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dizzy View Post
    Hi John.

    Interesting capture, no doubt!

    Below is a screen shot taken from my Stellarium program. I set it to show the night sky in
    a W-NW direction exactly as it would appear at midnight on 9/12/11, and from NY City, NY.

    Anything look familiar?

    stellarium-000.jpg

    There was a full Moon that night, also, so that plus the light pollution from the city would
    probably pretty much wipe out any chances of your imaging anything but the brightest objects.

    It does have an appearance like that of Mars, but Mars had risen in the East, and was
    sitting under two fairly bright stars (Castor and Pollux).

    There is also a complete absence of any background stars, which tends to lead me into
    thinking you caught some suspended object that was not too distant from the lens. Definitely
    a bit of a mystery object, no doubt!

    Mike
    Mike,

    I did capture a shot of the moon that very night and it was part of what caused me to focus on the nearby object.

    What is it?

  17. #17
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    Re: What is it?

    Nice Moon shot John. Was that taken at the same time? (no EXIF data with the pic).

    At midnight on 9/12, the Moon was at 37 altitude to the SW (you mention the shot was taken W-NW at approx. 60), and at 7:42pm when the EXIF data shows the first pic was taken, the Moon was at 39 in the SE sky.

    Can't tell you what the mystery item is John, but I can tell you with some certainty (99.99%) that it is not a deep space object of any sort. Did you shoot the pics through a window? Have you taken any other images in that area since then? No comment at all on the accurate star maps I posted?

    John, your descriptions are just a bit too vague for me. People have invested their time in an effort to help you pin down the identity of this mysterious object, yet, you haven't provided any substantive additional information in response to the data shown in the posts from Steaphany, myself and others.

    I'm afraid that my efforts to help have amounted to little more than What is it?, and with all due respect to you John, unless there is some groundbreaking new data to report, I'm done here.


    Mike
    Last edited by Dizzy; 16th September 2011 at 03:39 PM.

  18. #18
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    Re: What is it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dizzy View Post
    Nice Moon shot John. Was that taken at the same time? (no EXIF data with the pic).

    At midnight on 9/12, the Moon was at 37 altitude to the SW (you mention the shot was taken W-NW at approx. 60), and at 7:42pm when the EXIF data shows the first pic was taken, the Moon was at 39 in the SE sky.

    Can't tell you what the mystery item is John, but I can tell you with some certainty (99.99%) that it is not a deep space object of any sort. Did you shoot the pics through a window? Have you taken any other images in that area since then? No comment at all on the accurate star maps I posted?

    John, your descriptions are just a bit too vague for me. People have invested their time in an effort to help you pin down the identity of this mysterious object, yet, you haven't provided any substantive additional information in response to the data shown in the posts from Steaphany, myself and others.

    I'm afraid that my efforts to help have amounted to little more than What is it?, and with all due respect to you John, unless there is some groundbreaking new data to report, I'm done here.


    Mike
    Mike,

    This copy should have the data attached and yes it was taken around the same time.
    What is it?

  19. #19
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: What is it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dizzy View Post
    Steaphany - 100% agreed. No ground light is in the image, and at full size the background
    does show some dots, but I am not sure if they are simply noise, or could be a star
    background. This almost looks like one of Jupiter's moons.

    Yosemite: That would be the newly found Supernova in M101, which sits triangulated
    with Mizar and Alkaid: (click thumbnail)

    stellarium-000.jpg

    They said it could be found with a decent pair of bino's, but there's more than a few of us
    that gave it a serious try and came up empty. I found M101 (and also M51, much tougher
    bino target), but could not define a SN. In 10x50 binoculars, most galaxies and distant DSO
    will appear as an undefined, small fuzzy spot in bino's, and even in most smaller aperture
    scopes. Some of the more defined clusters (M13, M44, NGC 869) are superb bino targets,
    but I could not imagine this level of definition on any SN in bino's, ever. They just don't look
    like that.

    FWIW, Sky and Telescope magazine says that the Supernova in M101 is holding at a Mag 10.

    http://www.skyandtelescope.com/obser...128430288.html

    That's SN is not what we're seeing.

    Snarkbyte said it best:



    ISO 1600 and 1/30s might capture the Moon OK, but there's not even a sliver of a chance
    that 1/30s at that speed would grab a DSO, especially at that level of resolution. Also, the
    EXIF shows the image was taken at 19:42 (7:45PM).

    John, if your serious (and only with your approval) I would be glad to share the image with
    the hardcore astrophotographers over on my astronomy site. We're proud to say some of the
    best in the world are members there, and if anyone can ultimately sort out what this object
    is, it will be that lot.

    Mike
    Mike,

    Feel free to show it to your friends. I know a local astronomer (Alan Friedman-president of the Buffalo Astronomers Association) in this area that I will contact also.

  20. #20
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    Re: What is it?

    John, could you tell me how the images were processed?

    Reason I ask is that while I was resizing the image of the mystery object, I grabbed the
    background to relocate the image on the screen, and the "mystery object" fell right off it's
    background...

    090911-001.jpg

    Checked the Moon image, same thing happened there. Now, I am new to processing
    images, but wouldn't the "central object" be an integrated component of the background
    present at the time the image was taken?

    Mike
    Attached Images Attached Images

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