The web has been buzzing with reports of UFO that keeps appearing over Lake Erie as seen from Euclid, Ohio. It is appearing at the same time every night which instantly set off my BS detector since a bright new denzien is gracing the western skies after sunset. MSNBC even carried a report.
Now to the moderately trained eye, that looks like Venus/Jupiter/Mars (whichever is nice and bright near the horizon at the time) shot at high zoom with a shaky hand (well, it doesn't take much of a shaky hand when you zoom in!) These guys can be very bright and when they are close to the horizon, Earth's atmosphere can make them shimmer and change colors quite convincingly. I was at the U of A softball game Saturday night and a friend asked what the bright light was in the west. I said Venus and she responded that it was surprisingly orange.
And of course he admits he is not an astronomer...that should be a clue that maybe the reporter should FIND AN ASTRONOMER!
Now here is a kicker for you. The local Fox news station interviewed him. He showed a "still" picture during the interview. I did a screen capture of it.
As I mentioned in my previous entry, I went out tonight and saw Venus. Just for fun, I zoomed in on to maximum zoom and snapped a picture not using a tripod. Compare.
Interesting, huh? Okay, I had a tree in my foreground...big whoop. If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck...you know the rest.Summary, it looks like Venus, Venus is up in that part the sky during the time frame they are observing. It's probably Venus.
Reprinted with permission from the Half-Astrophysicist Blog.