UFOS: UNEXPLAINED FLAPPING OBJECTS
In SkyNews (January 2015)
On August 5, 2010, I was out with my telescope observing the night sky from my drive- way in southern Hamilton, Ontario, when I looked up toward the zenith and saw a triangular formation of three bright “orbs” of light moving incredibly fast toward the northern sky. By this time, I had already been observing the night sky for two years and quickly realized the lights were moving too fast and were larger in size and appearance than a satellite. They were also switching positions smoothly and swiftly. My next thought was a meteorite breakup, but there was no trail and no change in luminosity, and these objects persisted at a constant brightness for about 20 seconds before disappearing behind a tree. I could not come up with a plausible explanation.
About eight months later, while walking into The Hamilton Spectator building to attend a meeting of the Hamilton amateur astronomers, I briefly witnessed a similar event in the low eastern sky and still had no explanation. My answer finally came in June 2011. While outside on my driveway observing, I noticed five strange objects moving down the eastern sky. Luckily, I had binoculars with me this time. To my amazement—and embarrassment— I discovered that the strange “ufos” I had told numerous friends and fellow astronomers about were, in fact, Canada geese illuminated just enough by city lights from below to give the geese a strange, almost otherworldly glow, which made it very difficult to see any detail with the unaided eye. I could not hear them flying, and because they were moving about one another in formation, flapping their wings and flying at a fair speed, they gave an eerie appearance that had haunted me for almost a year.
Since then, I have seen Canada geese at night on numerous occasions. however, once I look through my binoculars, I laugh at myself and return to observing. if you witness what at first appears to be a strange triangular formation of alien craft, grab your binoculars, because I would wager that it’s some Canada geese happily on their way. and you can blame light pollution for the interruption.
(Het self al saans oor Bloemfontein hierdie wit voëls - soos bosluisvoëls gelyk - met my verkyker gesien. Wonder of hulle die stadsligte vir navigasie gebruik? - Hannes Pieterse)
After bouncing twice, Philae settled onto the comet's shadowed surface and operated for almost 57 hours before its batteries ran out.
The lander's current location doesn't show up on the OSIRIS imagery
released Monday, but the Rosetta mission's managers are confident that
it will eventually be spotted.
With its batteries depleted and not enough sunlight available to
recharge, Philae has fallen into 'idle mode' -- a possibly long silence.
In this mode, all instruments and most systems on board are shut down.
"Prior to falling silent, the lander was able to transmit all science
data gathered during the First Science Sequence," says DLR's Stephan
Ulamec, Lander manager, who was in the main control room at ESOC
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The European Space Agency’s Rosetta mission will deploy its lander,
Philae, to the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko on
Philae’s landing site, currently known as Site J, is located on the
smaller of the comet’s two ‘lobes’, with a backup site on the larger
lobe. The sites were selected just six weeks after Rosetta arrived at
the comet on 6 August, following its 10-year journey through the Solar
In that time, the Rosetta mission has been conducting an unprecedented
scientific analysis of the comet, a remnant of the Solar System’s
4.6 billion-year history. The latest results from Rosetta will be
presented on the occasion of the landing, during dedicated press
The main focus to date has been to survey 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko in
order to prepare for the first ever attempt to soft-land on a comet.