3 thoughts on “Ask An Astronomer – Contact Page

  1. On 6.12.13 at approx 9.10pm while visiting Coonabarabran and staying out on Timor Road (approx 10kms out) my family and I observed a very large white hazy trail in the sky, that spread from south to north. It was huge. It was narrower at the southern end but spread out wider as it went. We could not see it’s head as it was beyond the southern horizon. It covered in length more than half the sky and approx 1/20 of the sky’s width.
    My brother Bill observed it first and called out for all of us to come out and see it. It was plainly visible to the eye. The sky was very dark as the moon was only a sickle. Bill sad it had been much brighter and it was fading quickly but we observed it for over 10 mins easily.
    I have seen nothing in the media or on your site about this event.
    We thought we may have been seeing Comet Lovejoy??
    Can you shed any light on what we may have seen. My father is in his 80’s and has been a keen observer of the night sky all his life. He stated to us he had never seen anything as big as it before and it looked like a comet shape.
    Very curious to know more!
    Catherine Hutton

    • Hi Catherine

      Apologies for delay in answering as I have been away. I have seen no other reports of this object. Comet Lovejoy was a morning (dawn) object and no where near that extensive or bright. I have looked at the star charts for the night and can see nothing of interest. I was actually working up at the Observatory that night and also recieved no calls.

      Other than aircraft contrails which show up quite brightly at times in the early evening in a clear and stable sky I have no other explanation and on questioning others I have had no other ideas or suggestions put to me as to the nature of the phenomenon you and your family saw.

      Thanks and Regards


  2. The question about the large comet reminded me of a large object I saw on the morning of 16 January 1958, from Los Angeles, California ( I am in Florida now). It was night in Austria where an astronomer made a timed exposure photo of it.

    The photo showed two wide trails of light all the way across the photo. A Navy Photographer on a ship took a photo of it at the same time.

    The object came so close it scorched the roof of the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, near my house.

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