Imagine a powerful light bulb in a very dark room, from which many rays come, as Tom Eric Moe describes what he saw from his address at the Vestregata on Monday this week.
Late on Monday evening, Mo went out to the balcony to look at the stars. It was clear weather and great conditions to see what’s moving across the sky in the dark of night.
– It was crystal clear, so I saw a very clear flash, and it was very big, so I was sure it couldn’t be a star, Mo says.
Mo says he immediately turned around and ran towards the door to get his mobile phone to take a picture of the flash of light he met.
– What I replied to was that there were rays of light coming out of it, and I also thought it could be an international space station, or a satellite, says Mo when he called in Tromsø two days later.
According to Moi, the phenomenon was larger and more noticeable than what the photo shows.
Moe, an avid stargazer in this capacity, is no expert though. So iTromsø had to look elsewhere for answers.
The first call was directed to KSAT, which with its world-leading satellite service should be able to provide some clear answers.
However, Communications Director Nina Solling couldn’t say for sure what it was, but she recognized Mo’s description.
– There are a lot of people who see what looks like moving stars in the sky. It’s usually a satellite in which sunlight is reflected off the panels, Soling says.
If the International Space Station that Mo took a rare photo of could have been, Soling couldn’t believe it.
– It usually does not come as far north, and actually passes over southern Denmark and northern Germany at its northernmost point. In rare cases, Soling says, it can be seen from southern Norway.
According to the NASA website for the International Space Station, it could not have been seen from Tromsø in the relevant time period.
Soling goes on to refer to Pål Brekke – one of the leading Norwegian figures in astrophysics.
It hasn’t been very visible since 1963
Pål Brekke is a solar energy researcher and senior advisor for space research coordination at the Norwegian Space Centre. He has published more than 40 scientific publications and given lectures at home and abroad. Testimonials that there are answers can be found here.
And she is. A few minutes after the photo was sent, Bricky solved the puzzle.
– It is Jupiter that we see, it is often very bright and can be seen very well, especially now in the fall. It’s not uncommon to confuse it with aircraft, satellites or other ships, Brick says.
According to Brik, the distance between Earth and Jupiter is smaller than it was many years ago, and therefore appears much brighter. Jupiter is now about 591.5 million kilometers from Earth – closer than it was 59 years ago. The space scientist says: We have to go back to 1963 for Jupiter to be visible as it is now.
It is the brightest object in the night sky after the moon. With a small telescope, Brik says, you can actually see details of the surface.
Article in an American newspaper Denver Post You also mentioned that Jupiter will not be visible again until the year 2129 – that is, in 107 years.
Brecky still announces that those who missed this phenomenon on Monday will have another chance to see Jupiter shining brightly over Tromso.
On September 26, Jupiter is in opposition, that is, directly opposite the Sun, after which Jupiter will again shine especially brightly above the night sky.
Mo couldn’t believe it was Jupiter who got a picture when iTromsø told him the saga’s end.
Taking a picture of Jupiter is great news for me, and I never thought that Jupiter, so far away, could be seen from Tromsø, says Mo.
He had no idea that the scene he welcomed on Monday would be a once in a lifetime moment.
– I would not have dreamed that I would take a picture of Jupiter, says Mo ecstatic.
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