|Occurred : 11/3/2004 22:35 (Entered as : 11/03/2004 22:35)
Reported: 11/8/2004 5:37:40 PM 17:37
Location: Sunbury, PA
|Fastwalker over lunar disk Nov.3rd 2004
I've captured a number of really fast objects passing across the lunar disk. This report involves a single object.
I use a Panasonic GS-12 mini-DV camcorder. I had the shutter speed at approximately 1:200, and manually focused.... (I never fish with 1:60 normal shutter speed or auto focus). The cam has 20x optical/200x digital zoom, I had it set to around 60x. It was a mostly clear night and I was filming out my front window toward the East (had glass and screen down). The moon was rising and at about 45degrees. I didn't observe the object until reviewing the film.
The whole thing takes place in well under 1 second. The object enters the frame at 7:00 position (quickly), then it seems to pause/stop for the slightest fraction of a second before accelerating at incredible speed at slightly less of an angle.
The interesting things to me are the apparent change of direction and acceleration. These factors, (as well as object size to camcorder zoom ratio) decrease the odds of it being something immediate to my position (bug,bird,debris,etc). It's behavior is inconsistant with a plane or satellite.
I higly reccommend anybody curious to get out their camcorder and give this a try. MANUAL shutter, MANUAL iris, and MANUAL focus help a great deal. Also don't zoom way in... try to keep it as much in the optical zoom as possible.
I encourage anyone handy with photo or video editing to PLEASE examine this. I am including my highest quality mpeg of this event as well as 1 jpeg of the object when it's apparantly still. And 1 jpeg just as it starts to accelerate. (e-mailing to email@example.com).
In the future I plan to record in tandem with a friend across town (parallax is really what's needed).
Video edited using Pinnacle Studio 8.
((NUFORC Note: Source of report elects to remain totally anonymous. We have viewed the video footage, and our suspicion is that the object is not inconsistent with the flight of an insect in proximity to the camera. However, it the camera was focused at infinity, that might militate against our theory. On the other hand, the object crosses the entire disc of the Moon in approximately 1 second. If it was in proximity of the Moon, some 2000 miles in diameter, that angular velocity would translate to 14 million miles per hour, which seems unlikely to us, given that the object appears to change its course halfway through its passage across the disc of the Moon. We would like to correspond with the source of the report, but he/she will have to contact our Center, since we do not have contact information for the party. PD))