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Science and Technology "Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known." - Carl Sagan.

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Old September 23 2009, 07:13 AM   #1
Tombfyre
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Location: Canada
Quick Bright flash in night sky.

Quick Bright flash in night sky. I happened to glance up at the SE sky (i'm in southern british columbia). I saw a quick white flash. Almost like a camera flash.

I dismissed it as a meteor or something destroying itself in the atmosphere. But I read online a bit how a distant supernova would appear. Might this have been one?
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Old September 23 2009, 07:44 AM   #2
Peter the Younger
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Re: Quick Bright flash in night sky.

I don't believe so - a supernova event would last longer than that.
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Old September 23 2009, 07:51 AM   #3
LCARS 24
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Re: Quick Bright flash in night sky.

It could be a solar panel of a communication satellite momentarily reflecting sunlight in your direction. They do that sometimes.
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Old September 23 2009, 09:19 AM   #4
Prydonian
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Re: Quick Bright flash in night sky.

Sounds like you might have spotted an Iridium flare. I've seen a few myself from time to time - they can be quite spectacular!

If you look at the Heavens Above web site, there's a tool that allows you find out about upcoming flares that will be visible from your location.
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Old September 23 2009, 02:20 PM   #5
sojourner
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Re: Quick Bright flash in night sky.

Yep, Supernovas last for weeks/months, probably the aforementioned satellite.

Did you check to see if it gave you superpowers?
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Old September 23 2009, 02:43 PM   #6
iguana_tonante
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Re: Quick Bright flash in night sky.

No supernova for sure: they last more than that, and have a distinctly stellar appearance in the night sky.

Moreover, indirect proof for sure, but still relevant to the topic at hand, informations about a visible nova/supernova would have hit the astronomers' network, and I haven't heard any of it.
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Old September 23 2009, 06:11 PM   #7
Brent
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Re: Quick Bright flash in night sky.

Was it directly up in the sky or on the horizon? Could be a transformer exploding or popping
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Old September 23 2009, 06:31 PM   #8
Lindley
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Re: Quick Bright flash in night sky.

Optimus! No!
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Old September 27 2009, 12:32 AM   #9
Ugly Sweater
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Re: Quick Bright flash in night sky.

I'm seconding the Iridium Flare.
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Old September 27 2009, 04:43 AM   #10
Tombfyre
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Re: Quick Bright flash in night sky.

hmm.. thanks for the feedback. Seems like that might be it
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Old September 27 2009, 11:24 PM   #11
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Re: Quick Bright flash in night sky.

Was there a trail of smoke behind it and someone off in the distance saying, "My god Bones, what have I done?"?
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Old September 28 2009, 01:34 AM   #12
hofner
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Re: Quick Bright flash in night sky.

A bit off-topic but I'm not sure my question warrants a thread by itself.

When was the last time a supernova could be seen in the sky without a telescope or binoculars? The only ones I know of predates the invention of the telescope or maybe my knowlege of 'current' stellar events is REALLY bad.

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Old September 28 2009, 04:26 PM   #13
Lindley
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Re: Quick Bright flash in night sky.

A quick Google shows that Supernova 1987a should have been visible to the naked eye.
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