|Occurred : 8/30/2020 20:55 (Entered as : 08/30/20 20:55)
Reported: 8/31/2020 12:54:31 PM 12:54
Location: Lockport, NY
|Fuzzy point of white/yellow light traveling silently & slowly south, developing circular / spiraling halos
I had just finished dropping off a key at my parent's house and was walking back to the apartment my husband and I share. The moon was starting to peek through the trees from the south, and I gazed up at the stars, noticing that it was a clear night. I looked north north-east and saw a fuzzy point above the trees and initially thought it was a small plane, but there was no sound, and no blinking lights.
I watched it slowly move south, and as it moved it appeared to develop halos - at first they appeared to be moving in a very slight counter-clockwise rotation. Never complete, but fading imperceptibly so as to never show a full spiral halo. It was at this point that I tried to grab a photo using my cell phone, knowing that it would likely not turn out. I grabbed 2 shots. I found it odd that the halo was building and that it was still moving south without noise or distinct airplane lights.
I ran to tell my husband and a friend of his who were already outside on our deck. They both looked out and by this time it had grown even more. We ran down the steps to get a better vantage point. I had grabbed my DSLR (Nikon D200) with my Nikkor AF-S 70-300 mm lens to see if I could get some long exposure images on the fly.
As soon as we were in the driveway I tried a long exposure shot. Moved to what I thought was a more stable place and grabbed a second shot. The third was the last attempt as by this time it had begun to move behind the tree line. Of these three long exposure shots the first turned out the best. The halo had grown quite a bit from start to finish. When it started it was a small, white/yellow fuzzy spot, before it went out of view it had a fuzzy center and a few vertical mostly-complete halos .
I am a website admin / project manager with a degree in environmental biology and have several hobbies, one being stargazing with some astrophotography using my 8-inch Dobsonian telescope. I have seen Venus, Jupiter and its moons, the recent NEOWISE comet, the moon in detail and various meteor showers. I've tracked planes with my telescope (sadly did not have the time to pull it out to see this thing), the ISS, and other satellites. I'm familiar with the normal aircraft that are typically flying in the area as well. This was unlike anything I've seen in the sky thus far.