If the aliens abduct me tonight, let this be proof of their existence. I am not often a UFO evangelist, I think it far too unlikely any alien species would be interested in us. But I saw some strange lights in the sky around 7pm, so MIB might come visit soon.
The picture above (view it large) shows roughly where I saw it. Stellarium says the star I selected is called 8 Eri, which I suppose means that it is the 8th-brightest star in the constellation of Eridanus (the ancient name of the Po river valley).
What did I see? Not much. Only a very bright star that suddenly disappeared. When I first noticed its brightness, I thought it might be an airplane, so I looked very carefully at surrounding stars to see whether it was moving relative to them, but it wasn’t. I noticed that it twinkled, unlike a planet, but did not blink, like airplane lights. Suddenly, it simply went out, like a switch.
I looked over at Sirius, the brightest star, and realized that my mysterious light had been brighter. It was at least as bright as Mars, which is also very bright at the moment. I looked again. Nearby Acamar, (Theta Eridani) was barely visible, as was Pi Eridani. But the bright star I’d seen to their right was nowhere to be seen. I looked away for a moment, then looked again. I saw another star beneath them shine brightly and then fade again. This is when I though maybe I needed to lay off the caffeine.
8 Eridani is less than 20 light years away. (X-Files theme song please). Another Eridanus star, Al Sadirah (Epsilon Eridani) is less than 11 light-years away, and is one of the few stars where scientist have discovered an orbiting planet. This, of course has made it popular in science fiction.
But I think what I was was probably some very strong refraction, a geostationary satellite in the last glint of evening sunlight, or an airplane coming almost directly toward me with it’s headlights on. Toncontin International airport is due south of my house almost. The light might have “disappeared” when the airplane turned left for it’s final approach to the runway. Anyway, if I blog tomorrow, maybe all this alien junk was a hoax.