Xeno about The Daily Grail about Bad Astronomy about a Mysterious Flash

By | June 2, 2009

Xeno about The Daily Grail about Bad Astronomy about a Mysterious FlashI think I’m in between the two of these guys on the open minded vs skeptical scale. I’m ready to accept odd things quickly, but I want proof before I’ll move from speculation to belief.

I don’t know what Phil saw, possibly a meteor flash, but the lesson is, unless you see it yourself, you can’t really shoot someone down for saying what they saw was highly unusual.

An amusing string of tweets from Phil ‘Bad Astronomy‘ Plait over the last few days. …

9:56 PM May 30th: Tired. Star party=win. Saw 6 meteors, 10 satellites, and a VERY bright flash I cannot identify, and wondering WTH it was. Others saw it too.

10:04 PM May 30th: Srsly, it was like a flash bulb. Draco, ~11p.m.,<1sec long, -8 or so mag, no satellite I could see. Wondering if Swift saw a GRB tonight…

10:27 PM May 30th: Too fast and bright to be meteor, I think. Satellite glint seems likely, though no satellite could be seen. Weird.

Don’t fret though, Phil’s been allowed back into the ‘reality-based community’ fold today with his latest tweet: “Also, that ‘flashbulb’ I saw in Draco was almost certainly an ‘unscheduled’ iridium flare, from either Iridium 22 or 3.” At least he gets to say he saw a UFO, even if it was just for a couple of days…considering that sort of thing isn’t meant to happen.

For the record, my first guess when I saw the tweets was an iridium flare, not extraterrestrial spaceship – though I don’t know whether that explanation is correct or not. I just enjoyed seeing the BA perplexed there for a while about something in the sky, given his own regular criticism of straw men UFO researchers. Shame some ‘skeptics’ didn’t shout him down and call him an obsessed UFO whacko for saying it was “weird”, and then investigating further to try and resolve the issue…


2 thoughts on “Xeno about The Daily Grail about Bad Astronomy about a Mysterious Flash

  1. arjay001

    I love the night sky. I got up at 4am the other day to look at the galaxy. What a sight the air was so clear. Not so much as a meteor let alone a stray UFO to wonder about. This blog story brings to mind a sight I saw last year. Not long after dusk, a bright point of light out of the western sky comes into view. It is really moving along at a good clip too. It gets brighter and brighter. Then it fades out to nothing as it passes the overhead heading east. Almost the second it is gone a second one starts shining just as bright and on the same path. Now the two were much brighter then any satellite I have seen. I got excited and wondered just what I had seen. I got on line and in a few minutes I had my answer. The Space station and the shuttle were working towards a space rendezvous. There orbits had just taken them over the northern Michigan area. Just makes ya think that maybe there is an explanation for things even if we don’t recognize them right away.

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