High Strangeness: Deep Space UFO

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Deep Space UFO

I was having a nice time tonight with my wonderful Orion XT8 telescope, getting some great views of objects in the northern sky:
  • Saturn (w/rings and moons)
  • Castor & Pollux (binary stars!)
  • Capella
  • Procyon
  • The Moon
  • Alkaid
  • A UFO
Wait. What? A UFO??

Damned if it ain't so. I was straining to get a good look at Alkaid, a star in the Big Dipper, because it was nearly at the zenith, and it's tricky to aim a big, bulky telescope at something almost directly overhead. But as I found it in the eyepiece and started to focus, a bright white light zipped across the field of view in a curved path and disappeared.

I'm a Gemini and these are my boys: Castor & Pollux.
What a bonus! As if it isn't exhilarating enough to be able to see the flipping rings of Saturn from my back yard, now I've got UFOs overhead!

It couldn't have been visible for more than a half-second, but there it was... It was in focus, so it wasn't a bug flying past the telescope's aperture. It wasn't a meteor, because its path curved. My impression in the brief moment I saw it was that it was a brilliantly-lit object zipping around in deep space: a UFO.

Me and my telescope saw something weird tonight that we can't explain. Damn, that's cool.
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