Author Topic: Completely Random Thoughts  (Read 1879055 times)

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Offline goflyblind

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Re: Completely Random Thoughts
« Reply #5025 on: April 20, 2012, 09:47:57 AM »
it's balloon gas. no, wait, it's a weather swamp.
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Offline Tripe

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Re: Completely Random Thoughts
« Reply #5026 on: April 20, 2012, 09:49:36 AM »
Well it's very obviously a delta or possibly flying wing planform. Any airforce bases in the area?

A B2 bomber would look like that in the right light. 

Was it in the early evening?  What can happen in that part of the country due to the mountains is that the light from the sun is still bright up high for a long time after it gets dark on the ground, so a plane can get lit up different colors and seem to move oddly just due to how the light is hitting it.

That's what I was thinking too. :)


Offline Mrs. Dick Courier

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Re: Completely Random Thoughts
« Reply #5027 on: April 20, 2012, 09:57:40 AM »
It was night, about 9pm on a country road.  The closest air force base is Langley I think, East Virginia, but I live in Western Virginia.  I wasn't directly underneath it, when I got close enough to tell it wasn't a tower I pulled over and watched it.

I thought it might be a bomber, but it had two straight wings, not the zigzag back end of a bomber, unless its a new design.

What really bothered me most is how it just hovered there, not too far above tree level not moving for several minutes.  I'm not aware of a plane that can do that, and it mad no noise.
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Offline Darth Geek

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Re: Completely Random Thoughts
« Reply #5028 on: April 20, 2012, 10:03:55 AM »
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Offline MartyS (Gromit)

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Re: Completely Random Thoughts
« Reply #5029 on: April 20, 2012, 10:09:37 AM »
What really bothered me most is how it just hovered there, not too far above tree level not moving for several minutes.  I'm not aware of a plane that can do that, and it mad no noise.

That would be perfect time to get light from a distant sunset reflected off an aircraft.

The shape of the B2 would make the center area less visible in low/reflected light.  You would then see only the V shaped outer area.  And those things are huge, it would seem closer than it really was.

It can seem like planes are hovering for a long time and then move faster, it's all in the angle you are looking at them relative to their direction and speed.  Watching the planes fly in and out of Philly International in the evening it sometimes seems like they are just sitting there for minutes, then they drop down to land.

Light and shadow can really play tricks on your eyes, making things seem bigger or smaller, lighter or darker, even different shapes.  There's loads of optical illusions on the web that show just how easy it is to trick your brain into seeing what isn't really there.


Offline wurwolf

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Re: Completely Random Thoughts
« Reply #5030 on: April 20, 2012, 10:13:20 AM »
You guys are killjoys.  >:(
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Offline Mrs. Dick Courier

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Re: Completely Random Thoughts
« Reply #5031 on: April 20, 2012, 10:14:39 AM »
What really bothered me most is how it just hovered there, not too far above tree level not moving for several minutes.  I'm not aware of a plane that can do that, and it mad no noise.

That would be perfect time to get light from a distant sunset reflected off an aircraft.

The shape of the B2 would make the center area less visible in low/reflected light.  You would then see only the V shaped outer area.  And those things are huge, it would seem closer than it really was.

It can seem like planes are hovering for a long time and then move faster, it's all in the angle you are looking at them relative to their direction and speed.  Watching the planes fly in and out of Philly International in the evening it sometimes seems like they are just sitting there for minutes, then they drop down to land.

Light and shadow can really play tricks on your eyes, making things seem bigger or smaller, lighter or darker, even different shapes.  There's loads of optical illusions on the web that show just how easy it is to trick your brain into seeing what isn't really there.

no, it was dark, no light.  No sunset, our sun here is setting about 8:00pm here, it was not a trick of the light.  It was not moving at all.

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Offline Mrs. Dick Courier

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Re: Completely Random Thoughts
« Reply #5032 on: April 20, 2012, 10:15:30 AM »
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Next thing you know I'll be watching you in the shower.

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Offline MartyS (Gromit)

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Re: Completely Random Thoughts
« Reply #5033 on: April 20, 2012, 10:30:05 AM »
no, it was dark, no light.  No sunset, our sun here is setting about 8:00pm here, it was not a trick of the light.  It was not moving at all.

You've got mountains to the west of you, an hour after sunset your side of the mountain would be dark on the ground but the sunset would still be visible if you were in a plane a few miles up.  Any plane in that light would reflect the colors of the sunset.

Same thing happens when you see the space station fly over several hours after sunset and is very bright, 200 miles up the sun hasn't set yet.  It can then suddenly disappear as it moves into the Earth's shadow.

A plane that big flying away from you or towards you can look like it is standing still, but still be going hundreds of miles an hour.  The brain gets messed up processing something that large in the sky, so size, distance, and speed get confused.  Similar to how the moon looks huge sometimes on the horizon, then smaller up in the sky, the moon is the same but your perception of it changes.


Offline Mrs. Dick Courier

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Re: Completely Random Thoughts
« Reply #5034 on: April 20, 2012, 10:35:45 AM »
no, it was dark, no light.  No sunset, our sun here is setting about 8:00pm here, it was not a trick of the light.  It was not moving at all.

You've got mountains to the west of you, an hour after sunset your side of the mountain would be dark on the ground but the sunset would still be visible if you were in a plane a few miles up.  Any plane in that light would reflect the colors of the sunset.

Same thing happens when you see the space station fly over several hours after sunset and is very bright, 200 miles up the sun hasn't set yet.  It can then suddenly disappear as it moves into the Earth's shadow.

A plane that big flying away from you or towards you can look like it is standing still, but still be going hundreds of miles an hour.  The brain gets messed up processing something that large in the sky, so size, distance, and speed get confused.  Similar to how the moon looks huge sometimes on the horizon, then smaller up in the sky, the moon is the same but your perception of it changes.

makes sense, but I know what I saw
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Offline Darth Geek

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Re: Completely Random Thoughts
« Reply #5035 on: April 20, 2012, 10:43:44 AM »
no, it was dark, no light.  No sunset, our sun here is setting about 8:00pm here, it was not a trick of the light.  It was not moving at all.

You've got mountains to the west of you, an hour after sunset your side of the mountain would be dark on the ground but the sunset would still be visible if you were in a plane a few miles up.  Any plane in that light would reflect the colors of the sunset.

Same thing happens when you see the space station fly over several hours after sunset and is very bright, 200 miles up the sun hasn't set yet.  It can then suddenly disappear as it moves into the Earth's shadow.

A plane that big flying away from you or towards you can look like it is standing still, but still be going hundreds of miles an hour.  The brain gets messed up processing something that large in the sky, so size, distance, and speed get confused.  Similar to how the moon looks huge sometimes on the horizon, then smaller up in the sky, the moon is the same but your perception of it changes.

makes sense, but I know what I saw
Well, no. Hence the "Unidentified" part of Unidentified Flying Object.

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Offline Sideswipe

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Re: Completely Random Thoughts
« Reply #5036 on: April 20, 2012, 11:34:00 AM »
Settle down meow!

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Offline MartyS (Gromit)

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Re: Completely Random Thoughts
« Reply #5037 on: April 20, 2012, 11:48:40 AM »
makes sense, but I know what I saw

That's the thing about optical illusions, what you see is different than what is actually there.

Here's a website with a whole bunch of them, some of them are hard to believe.  Gives one an appreciation for how easy it is to trick the brain into seeing things that are not there.

http://www.michaelbach.de/ot/

I don't see the sphere one there so here's one from another site that shows how easy it is to see something bigger or smaller, both spheres are the same size:



This is why the moon looks larger near the horizon, you have trees and buildings to compare it to, up in the sky alone it seems smaller.  Same thing can happen to planes, especially if they change direction, it can seem like they are going off at incredible speed but it's just that the reference objects have changed and your brain sees it as getting smaller and farther away faster than it really is.


Offline MartyS (Gromit)

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Re: Completely Random Thoughts
« Reply #5038 on: April 20, 2012, 11:50:45 AM »
Just promis to use your mewfound powers only for good. AND GET OUT OF MY SHOWER!

Mewfound? Are these cat-locating powers?

There's got to be a "furry" joke in there somewhere....


Offline goflyblind

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Re: Completely Random Thoughts
« Reply #5039 on: April 20, 2012, 11:53:14 AM »
makes sense, but I know what I saw

That's the thing about optical illusions, what you see is different than what is actually there.

Here's a website with a whole bunch of them, some of them are hard to believe.  Gives one an appreciation for how easy it is to trick the brain into seeing things that are not there.

http://www.michaelbach.de/ot/

I don't see the sphere one there so here's one from another site that shows how easy it is to see something bigger or smaller, both spheres are the same size:



This is why the moon looks larger near the horizon, you have trees and buildings to compare it to, up in the sky alone it seems smaller.  Same thing can happen to planes, especially if they change direction, it can seem like they are going off at incredible speed but it's just that the reference objects have changed and your brain sees it as getting smaller and farther away faster than it really is.

nothing to do with buildings or anything on the horizon. it is a manifestation of that image, though. known as the ponzo illusion.
http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2010/05/13/why-does-the-moon-look-so-huge-on-the-horizon/
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