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Bright star like object in Small Magellanic CLoud

liska's picture
liska
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Joined: 2012-09-21

We report visual observation of bright star like object (about 3 mag) in Small Magellanic Cloud. The object then gradually faded during 2 or 3 minutes below 6 mag.
This observation was made at 23:49 UTC on 20th September 2012, at South African Astronomical Observatory, Sutherland, South Africa.
Position was on the east from center of SMC, but with uncertainity of 1 degree. We could not identify the object on the pictures from CCD camera and photolens (visual limit 9 mag) at 23:52 UTC.
 

Bright Stellar Object Near The SMC
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BRJ
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Joined: 2010-07-24

I would suggest that the description, the apparent great amplitude and the brevity of the event probably most favors a specular solar reflection resulting from a chance alignment with a large flat surface on a distance earth satellite. Such might be visible only relatively locally, accounting for no other reported sightings elsewhere so far of such an obvious event. I note that similar short-lived events have been reported previously, but none has ever proven to have had an identifiable interstellar origin. They do, however, make for some startling observations!

J.Bortle   (BRJ)

AAVSO 49 Bay State Rd. Cambridge, MA 02138 aavso@aavso.org 617-354-0484