From: Martin Shough <parcellular.nul> Date: Thu, 9 Feb 2012 10:02:58 -0000 Archived: Thu, 09 Feb 2012 05:15:12 -0500 Subject: Re: Object Seen In The Sky Was 'Moon Dog' >From: Don Ledger <dledger.nul> >To: post.nul >Date: Wed, 8 Feb 2012 13:29:52 -0400 >Subject: Re: Object Seen In The Sky Was 'Moon Dog' >---- UFO UpDates - Toronto <post.nul>posted: >>Source: TheCourier.Co.UK >>http://tinyurl.com/7a53zkd >>Tuesday, February 7, 2012 >>British UFO Research Association Says Object Seen In The Sky >>Was A 'Moon Dog' <snip> >I'd be more inclined to tag this as an ice crystal cloud or >some >other atmospheric weather phenomenon back lit from the setting >Sun. >Moon Dog sounds a bit off to me.. I agree with Don. I posted this to another list yesterday: This is an interesting image because a bright moon-dog attracting the attention of "scores" of people in daylight has to be a bit unusual. The time given in the article, 2:00 pm on Dec 29 2011, is not "sunset" - it was well over an hour and a half before sunset in Arbroath, i.e. the sun would have been about 14 diameters above the horizon. This is bright daylight. The moon was certainly up, about 23 degrees in the SE (145 deg), but it was only a crescent (phase 0.25) about 60 deg away from the sun, which was at 204 deg in the SSW. I'm just a bit doubtful that the moon would have been bright enough to cause a striking moon-dog in these conditions. Going to the original link: http://tinyurl.com/84n2aqf we find a less-cropped version of the photo (not a full frame, because the image properties read "photo_17690_wide_crop.jpg"), and this: "Edward Cairney (59) spotted the seemingly disc-shaped object on Wednesday afternoon when looking west towards Dundee from the rear window of his home in Arbroath. He took two pictures of the UFO, between 1.50-2.10pm, before it disappeared from view. He said: "It was around sunset and at first I thought it was maybe just the moon shining in a strange way or something like that." He added: "I was standing at the back window looking to the west towards Dundee." So this was taken "looking to the west" or "towards Dundee" (WSW from Arbroath). That places the object about 45 deg to the right (west) of the sun at the time confirmed here (bracketed between 1:50 and 2:20 pm). But the photo seems to show essentially clear-sky dusk conditions much closer to sunset (~3:37pm) than one would expect within 45 deg of a sun that is well above the horizon. (Bear in mind that the angular altitude of an ice halo will be the same as the altitude of the source - ex hypothesi, the moon, about 23 deg - so if this is an ice halo then we are looking low in the sky, near the sun) So if the time and direction are both accurate I wonder if the image brightness and contrast has been manipulated to bring out the object? This might be done innocently by the photographer or by the paper, but it would exaggerate the darkness of the sky and the apparent brightness of the object. Even so, I feel sceptical that this light in the west could be a moondog halo caused by a crescent moon which was in the southeast fully 60 deg to the left (east) of the sun, especially if it was widely noticed. As Matt Lyons is quoted as saying in the article, although the 22 deg halo is the most common and brightest there are secondary ice halos at large angle. True, but these are rare and much fainter, even in optimum dark-sky conditions. In these daylight conditions the idea of a faint large-angle moon halo exciting scores of people to call the papers seems highly implausible to me. There may be signs of the slight irisation or irridescence (rainbow-like colour separation) caused by ice crystals, but the effect is faint and it's hard to be sure. It certainly looks like a high ice cloud, but FWIW I would say it is lit not by the moon but almost entirely by the relatively nearby (angularly speaking) sun. The Courier article does refer to the sun, and it may be that it slightly misrepresents Matt Lyons' statement by focusing so strongly on the Anyway I tried to find out more about the story and Matt's investigation at the BUFORA site but there is no obvious reference to it there. It isn't listed in the scrolling sidebar of recent reports this morning. The Recent Sighting Reports page gives a 404 - Not Found error. Martin Shough Listen to 'Strange Days... Indeed' - The PodCast At: http://www.virtuallystrange.net/ufo/sdi/program/ These contents above are copyright of the author and UFO UpDates - Toronto. They may not be reproduced without the express permission of both parties and are intended for educational use only.
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