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A List Of Sightings By Astronomers 1623 - 1939 +

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A List Of Sightings By Astronomers 1623 - 1939 +

Post  AstroCamel on Mon May 23, 2011 10:15 am

A List Of Sightings By Astronomers

November 17th, 1623: 'A burning globe appeared at sunset - on 17 November 1623. It was visible in different places all over Germany. In Austria, it is affirmed a sound of cracking or crushing came from it, as if from a thunderbolt, which, however, I take to be groundless.' Johannes Kepler.

March 21st, 1676: The Italian, Geminiano Montanari, was knowledgeable in geophysics,biology, mathematics, ballistics, and meteorology; but his greatest achievements are considered to have been in astronomy. He reported this sighting to Edmund Halley, who commented - 'I find it one of the hardest things to account for, that I have ever yet met.'..... 'It appeared one and three quarter hours after sunset, coming over the Adriatic from Dalmatia. It crossed over all Italy, at a height of some 40 miles, and hissed as it passed, over Ronzare. It passed over the sea from Leghorn to Corsica, with a sound like the rattling of a great cart over stones. I compute that it travelled 160 miles a minute. It seemed to be a vast body apparently bigger than the moon!' (FSOM/DSB) May 1677: '..the famous astronomer, Edmund Halley, Savilian professor of geometry at Oxford University,
reported seeing a "great light in the sky all over Southern England, many miles high."'
July 31st, 1708: '..from 9 to 10 p.m., a similar apparition, thought to be 50 miles high, passed over Sheerness, and the 'Buoy at the Nore,' Suffolk, and London. It moved "with incredible speed, and was very bright. It seemed to vanish and left a pale white light behind it. There were no hissing sounds and no explosion."' (FSOM)

1715: Unusual phenomena were observed on the Moon, at the time of the solar eclipse, by Edmund Halley and Louville - ' it were a sort of flash or momentary vibrations of beams of light, as though someone were setting fire to gunpowder trails as used in mining. These bright flashes were very brief in duration and appeared now here, now there, but always in the shade.' (FSR 41-2) March 6th, 1716: Halley saw an object illuminating the sky for more than two hours from about 7:00 p.m. onwards: 'A man could easily read print in the light thrown out by these spears from the same body. It did not change for two hours, and then it seemed as if new fuel had been cast on a fire.' / Similar phenomena were reported to Halley by other astronomers of his time, notably by astronomers Gottfried Kirch and Schlazius, at Leipzig, Germany re. an event on July 9th, 1686 and by Montanari an Italian mathematician and astronomer regarding a sighting on March 21st, 1676.
March 17th, 1735: 'A strange apparition of "an uncommon bright glade of light" was seen from the top of his house in Buckingham Street, off the Strand, London, by John Bevis, at 8.05 pm, on March 17, 1735, when he was observing Mars, in the west: "It was quite unlike the Aurora Borealis, being steady and not tremulous in motion. The stars could be seen through it. It was not a comet; for I could see no nucleus through my 17-foot optical glass. It gre dim in the middle in half an hour, and then seemed to split into two very luminous parts, which grew dimmer till about 9." (FSOM)

August 9th, 1762: Two Swiss astronomers saw an object in front of the sun. They were De Rostan in Basle and Croste in Sole. [Article in 18th Century Sightings]

May 1764: Astronomer Hoffman saw a large round spot traverse the sun from north to south. (MHervey) June 17th, 1777: Charles Messier, famous for his nebula catalogue observed a large number of dark spots in the skies, disc shaped, which were unknown to him. In his log book he wrote - 'They were large and swift and they were ships, yet like bells.' August 18th, 1783: Tiberius Cavallo, Italian chemist, inventor and writer on natural philosophy - a fellow of the Royal Society, saw at Windsor Castle what he termed a 'most extraordinary meteor...North-east of the Terrace, in clear sky and warm weather, I saw appear suddenly an oblong cloud nearly parallel to the horizon. Below the cloud was seen a luminous body... It soon became a roundish body, brightly lit up and almost stationary. It was about 9.25 p.m. This strange ball at first appeared bluish and faint, but its light increased,
and it soon began to move. At first, it ascended above the horizon, obliquely towards the east. Then it changed its direction and moved parallel to the horizon. It vanished in the SE. I saw it for half a minute, and the light it gave out was prodigious. It lit up every object on the face of the country. It changed shape to oblong, acquired a tail, and seemed to split up into two bodies of small size. About two minutes later came a rumble like an explosion.' [Article in 18th Century Sightings]. Cavallo's book 'The History and Practice of
Aerostation' was published, in London, two year later. He was buried in 1809 in St.Pancras Churchyard.

Also on August 30th an object was observed at Greenwich Observatory from which eight objects emerged, described as satellites. / Other reports by scientists named by Wilkins on the following dates: March 19, 1718 at Oxford, December 5th, 1737 and December 16th, 1742 - both in London. William Herschel on Mars - '..From other phenomena it appears, however, that this planet is not without a considerable atmosphere; for, besides the permanent spots on its surface, I have often noticed occasional changes of partial bright belts.. and also a darkish one, in a pretty high latitude.. And these alterations we can
hardly ascribe to any other cause than the variable disposition of clouds and vapours floating in the atmosphere of that planet. [Result of the contents of this paper] ...And that planet has a considerable but moderate atmosphere, so that its inhabitants probably enjoy a situation in many respects similar to ours. Datchet, Dec.1, 1783. W.HERSCHEL' [On the remarkable Appearances at the Polar Regions of the Planet Mars, the Inclination of its Axis, the Position of its Poles, and its Spheroidal Figure; with a few Hints relating to its real Diameter and Atmosphere. By William Herschel, Esq. F.R.S.]

October 22nd, 1790: 'The famous astronomer, Frederick William Herschel, who discovered the planet Uranus and its satellites and the satellites of Saturn, was looking through a 20-foot reflector telescope.. when he saw, in time of total eclipse of the moon, many bright and luminous points, small and round. But "the brightness of the moon, notwithstanding the fact that it was in eclipse", did not permit him to view the phenomenon long enough to locate these points on the lunar surface. / He wrote to the Royal Society - "We know too little of the surface of the moon to venture a surmise of the cause and remarkable colour of these points."' [Article in 18th Century Sightings]. Previous sightings of lights on or near the moon were made by Herschel in 1783 and 1787. (FSOM)

May 1799: A luminous spot was seen moving across the disc of Mercury by Johann Schroeter, his assistant K.L.Harding at Lilienthal observatory , and other observers- 'In the transit of 1799.. Schroter and Harding at Lilienthal, and Kohler at Dresden, saw a small luminous spot on the dark disk. The spot was not stationary, for Harding saw it change its position, and later in the day Schroter saw it sometimes on one part of the disk, sometimes on another. Others saw, not one, but two small spots of a greyish colour.' (Monthly Notices 38, 1878/MU)

February 7th, 1802: An unknown body ['dark disc' DL]was seen crossing the sun by the Astronomer Fritsch, at Magdeburg, in central Germany. (NL) October 10th 1802: An unknown dark body was seen by Herr Fritsch rapidly crossing the sun. (NL) January 16th 1818: A Mr.Capel Lofft, astronomer of Ipswich, England, observed a strange object near the
sun. It was visible for three hours and a half. (DL/NL) June 26th, 1819: Three dark bodies crossed the sun together, observed by astronomer Franz Gruithuisen. (NL) Pastorff saw something near the sun, which he had thought was a comet; but could not have been,
according to Olbers. (NL)

September 7th, 1820: Francis Arago, the famous French Physicist/Astronomer describes observations that day during the eclipse, at Embrun, of objects moving across the sky in a nearly military precision. He mentions also that a number of other scientists have seen similar events

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