anomalous astronomical event/UFO sighting?
A bright light (possible craft) appeared on the Horizon, North West, and seemed to move South East, getting much larger and brighter, stationary over Morecambe Bay, then moved due East, stationary for a short while before disappearing completely.
Location of Sighting: Europa
Lancashire, United Kingdom
Date of sighting: 21/02/2016
Click to enlarge
Time: Exact time not recorded but within window
05:45 – 05:50, on Monday 22nd February, 2016 (05.48)
Duration: Approximately 2-3 minutes
How did you measure the time and duration: Clock and mobile phone
Observer: One male adult pedestrian
Location of observation: Europa Way, Lancaster
Click to enlarge
conditions: Severe weather warnings had been given by the
Met Office. The previous evening had seen wind and rain.
At the time of sighting, clear sky, no rain and no wind at time of sighting. Bright almost Full Moon (22nd) visible throughout the night. Venus was also visible at the time.
Clarity of atmosphere: Clear
Cloud cover: Quarter
Atmospheric Temperature: Cold (2-4c)
Wind strength: Breeze
Visible Astronomical Objects: Moon, stars, Venus
Number of objects seen: 1
Colours(s) of object(s) seen: Bright white
Sound of object(s) seen: None
What first brought your attention to the object: Occasional skywatcher (whenever possible), noticed unusual 'star' (unusually bright, unusually large and in unusual location)
How did the object(s) disappear from view: Unknown. Left to obtain camera phone and witness, when returned the object had disappeared. Watched area of sky for an extra 20 minutes, to no avail.
Were the objects SMALLER, SAME SIZE or LARGER than the moon: Initially smaller, but grew to about half the size over the duration (I perceive because of distance)
Brightness compared to moon: 30% brighter (bright almost full moon visible)
Smell of object(s) seen: N/A
Altitude (degrees): Initially 30 degrees, then rising to 45/50 degrees (I interpret as moving closer due to increase size and brightness)
Compass object direction of travel: I perceive to initially travel South East in my direction (described above), before travelling in the direction NNE (North North East) along the Horizon.
Was the incident photographed or captured on live footage: No. Object had disappeared upon return.
Were there any additional witnesses to the incident described? No. Object had disappeared upon return.
Did you, or the surrounding environment suffer any physical effects that may be related to the incident: Unknown .
Were you aware of the passage of time around the observation? Yes.
Other than the event you have reported, did anything else odd or out of place occur around the observation: None
Witness Account: I was on a night shift at the above location. At approx. 05:48 hours I left the back doors to smoke a cigarette (as often do and for the tenth time that night/morning). The moon was reported to be unusually bright (Full Moon next night). I have been an avid skywatcher for many years, witnessing comet/meteor showers, Satellite's etc. in many locations, and thus noticed an unusually bright 'star' on the Horizon at 30 degrees, North West.
I noted that the unusual 'star' was out of location, magnificiently bright, at which point I found Venus in the sky.
As I proceeded to watch the 'star' it began to become much brighter and larger, which I then interpreted to be an object in the distance, which had travelled towards my location (from North West to South East).
The object was then at 45/50 degrees on the Horizon, and I judged the object to over Morecambe Bay or Morecambe Town (3/4 miles in North West direction from my location).
I initially thought it may be helicopter (Police), although the object did not flash, and stayed shining. It was the brightest object in the night sky, inclcuding the moon, and I looked on amazed at the brightness of the object (I HAVE NEVER SEEN AN OBJECT AS BRIGHT AS THIS IS IN THE SKY).
The object then slowly moved, at 50/55 degrees, in a North Easterly direction along the horizon (judging from moon). I perceive the object to have travelled over Morecambe Bay from South Lake District area (Barrow/Ulverston), hovered over Heysham/Morecambe area, then proceed to move along the Morecambe Bay coast towards Carnforth.
There was no noise, and the object seemed to move stealthily (like a reconnaissance aircraft).
If any explanation can be given (unnatural astronomical event, unusually bright low orbit satellite, combination of factors) it would be greatly appreciated.