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Bright star like object in Small Magellanic CLoud

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Bright star like object in Small Magellanic CLoud

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.

BRJ's picture
Bright Stellar Object Near The SMC

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)

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