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Unusual Streaks

By: Tunc Tezel

 

Region: Middle East

Site: Ankara - Turkey

Spot: Beynam Forest

Date: 2007 August 12

As seen on Astronomy Picture of the Day there are unusual streaks of light at the right edge of this image near the belt of Orion which is discussed as the TWAN Mystery for July 2010. The streaks would be identified at first glance as meteors from the Perseids meteor shower peaking just that night. Unexpectedly, however, these streaks do not point back to the Perseids radiant in Perseus (top center). They are most probably sunlight reflected from orbiting satellites and might be unusual appearance of several Iridium Flares. The above image is a composite of several shots captured over the time span of 40 minutes. Other visible celestial icons include the V-figure of Taurus and the Pleiades star cluster, planet between them, bright star Capella near the center, and the rising stars of Gemini in the bottom center. Note the elongated zodiacal light (sunlight reflection from dust in the solar system plane) from the horizon toward the Taurus and passing through the winter Milky Way. Tunc Tezel

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