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Sighting Reports 2009

Towercam Captures Large Light in Eastern Sky in Early Morning

First Image Taken at 5:22 AM PDT. Image Has Been Brightened With Photo Editing Software.
First Image Taken at 5:22 AM PDT.
Image Has Been Brightened With Photo Editing Software.

Above Image Blowup.
Above Image Blowup.
Image Has Been Brightened With Photo Editing Software.

Mt Wilson is About 55 Miles Northeast of Los Angeles.
Mt Wilson is About 55 Miles Northeast of Los Angeles.

Date of Sighting: October 5, 2009
Time of Sighting: 5:22 AM PDT
Location of Sighting: Mt. Wilson Observatory, California (See Map Above)

Description: I live in Los Angeles and enjoy looking at the view from the Mt Wilson towercam often (several times a day). With the recent full moon, I went to the site early this morning to see how the moon was illuminating the countryside. (When I see a nice image, I copy it to my computer, and have done so for some time). I saw a rather bright object (a blob more than a star or planet) in the upper right side of the camera image. Curious, I automatically saved the image to my computer and continued to refresh the camera image about every two minutes (about as often as they do), and saw the object was moving. I continued to copy the images until it left the camera screen. I sent copies of the images to a friend who blew up one of the images and sent it back to me (second image above). Each image has the towercam's information on it: date, time and UCLA information. I continued to watch the towercam images and could see the light from the sunrise gradually taking over the sky and the stars disappearing. I don't know enough about astronomy to be able to identify the background stars (thus the location of the path of the blob). Perhaps someone else can. I have seen lights from planes, meteors and such before, but nothing like this. Since the towercam was pointed east any bright light source behind it (which could have possibly reflected off of some object) would have made the rest of the sky much lighter as well. (I followed the progress of the recent fire which threatened Mt Wilson on the towercam so I have seen the effects of ground light on the sky above.)

Note: The moon would have been in the opposite direction of the towercam (southwest) at the time of filming. The towercam is oriented towards the northeast. Mercury and Mars were very low on the eastern horizon at the time of the filming, but would not have shown up like the light. Therefore no bright celestial objects (planets, stars) were visible in the direction of the light. Perhaps the light could be a reflection, but not enough information is available to make that determination.

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