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Strange Lights At Fl310  
User currently offline6YJCX From Jamaica, joined Dec 2007, 23 posts, RR: 0
Posted (6 years 11 months 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 2060 times:

A few years ago on a late night flight ATL - RDU a group of us in f watched a bright light, apparently from ground level, track with us for 20 or so minutes. The moon was full and high at the time and there was no snow or frost on the ground, which is mostly farm fields and forests in that area. The concensus was that it was likely a reflection of moonlight but no one could speculate on the physics that would allow reflections from that type surface - lakes are in the area but not large enough to drive this for 20 minutes. After 40 years flying commercial and GA for over 3m miles I had never seen this before or since over land. Any suggestions?

5 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineFemialpha From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 66 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (6 years 11 months 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 2000 times:

It was probably aliens on a UFO watching you! Big grin

User currently offline4holer From United States of America, joined Feb 2002, 3040 posts, RR: 9
Reply 2, posted (6 years 11 months 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 1878 times:

Can the moon produce "glory"?
I've seen it with the sun, but never thought about the moon.



Ghosts appear and fade away.....................
User currently offlineTdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 3, posted (6 years 11 months 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 1824 times:



Quoting 6YJCX (Thread starter):
The concensus was that it was likely a reflection of moonlight but no one could speculate on the physics that would allow reflections from that type surface

Depending on the angle and the temperature conditions, you might be getting a reflection off the boundary between air layers. I'm not sure what the typical angle of total internal reflection is for air boundaries, but it should be possible.

Tom.


User currently offlineWestWing From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 2134 posts, RR: 7
Reply 4, posted (6 years 11 months 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 1761 times:

Was your light source definitively "on the ground" as you say? A few years ago, Mars was at it's closest to Earth and was very bright in the night sky (brighter than Venus) . Is it at all possible that it was a planet (Mars/Venus) low on the horizon?


The best time to plant a tree is 40 years ago. The second best time is today.
User currently offlineSpacecadet From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3649 posts, RR: 12
Reply 5, posted (6 years 11 months 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 1571 times:

Low hanging overcast? Moonlight can reflect off that pretty continuously, and in the dark, you're not going to be able to tell that you're looking at cloud tops and not ground if it's mostly just forest (ie. no other ground lights that would be covered up).


I'm tired of being a wanna-be league bowler. I wanna be a league bowler!
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