|Occurred : 2/13/2004 03:00 (Entered as : 02/13/1904 03:00)
Reported: 2/14/2005 10:19:25 AM 10:19
|for Info. & Images http://vegaclub.com/Unknown.htm
03:15 am The object appeared as a perfectly round cloud. Its altitude from the horizon was about 10° in the constellation of Centaurus.We pointed the 10" telescope and it appeared just as any other normal cloud would appear.
03:20 am The object was over the star θ Cen. To the naked eye the effect was as good as a cloud blocking a star but somewhat more pronounced - the light scattering was more. It was like the moon was blocked by clouds. Through the telescope however we saw asymmetrical gradation of white light. At this point we were sure that it was a cloud so we stopped following it. After sometime this so called cloud disappeared.
03:35 am The cloud became visible again and this time was more bright. At this point it was about 20° - 25° above the southern horizon. We got curious. One of our members pointed the telescope at it and was surprised to see a fast rotating spiral. At 50X magnification in a 25mm plossl, the spiral structured covered about 3/4 the field and showed about 5 loops. Check out image 1. We calculated the velocity - drift of the object using the eyepiece field & found it to be 0.64°/min. It was very fast. The rotation period of the loop was about 13 seconds. We boosted the magnification to 125X. The object showed another small bright point light source to the top right of its centre.
04:05 am The object was appearing to slow down. The loops had increased to 9. We again calculated the drift speed & found it to be 0.2°/min. The secondary small source of light had gradually increased in size and separation w.r.t. the spiral center, now it was very bright & easily visible at 50X than it was visible half hour back at 125X.
04:10 am We pointed out our SLR cameras in the direction of the object which was now faint, hoping we would at-least record the trail.
04:15 am The object was loosing naked eye visibility. It was now difficult to the naked eye. However we were tracking it in the telescope.
04:35 am We just took off the telescope to continue our hunt for the remaining galaxies in Virgo (we had seen 23 galaxies already that day) After sometime when we tried to spot the object again, we never found it.
((CORRESPONDENCE WITH WITNESS))
Dear Mr. ((name deleted)),
Thank you very much for sharing the interesting information with our Center!
Have you determined what the object was that you observed that night?? We share your suspicion that the object was a most peculiar phenomenon.
We rarely leave URL's in reports submitted to our Center, but we are going to make an exception in this case, given the apparent high quality of your photos, and of your erudite comments about the event.
If you have any further comments about the object, please feel free to submit them to our Center. We will include them with your original report.
Thank you, again, for sharing the information with our Center!