No, this involves objects that were flying that remain unidentified from the Starlight Cascade Observatory Allsky Camera1 system on the night of Saturday August 24th, 2013 from
23:12 to 23:34 local (Eastern Time) or
UT 2013 August 25 from 03:12 to 03:34
There appear to be a series of brightly lit objects moving from west to east to the north of us over the course of ten minutes, a break then a few more.
In all of our years of recording allsky camera images, of being outside actually observing the night sky, we have never seen anything like this.
Individual objects, yes. Almost always a helicopter with its landing spotlight on. But never this many.
The objects were first seen on the morning review in a video summary of the nights images. The first good still image is shown here.
This first image shows two objects.
The next image (each image is a 90 second exposure) show more (at least five)
In total we counted 12-15. Ten minutes later, one came back East to West.
Probably not hot air balloons, whatwith going against the prevailing wind.
We had better video pulled from the allsky2 camera system and reviewed it in realtime and sped up and our best guess is a fleet of helicopters moving slowing across our skies at a distance. They were moving from west to east as mentioned above, across our northern horizon. West is CFB Trenton, a Canadian Forces airbase, so that helps a lot.
Our prevailing winds are from west to east.
The objects were brighter than any known satellite (eg the International Space Station), did appear to have an irregular formation of sorts.
A google search of local media, a query to our local astronomer community and a review of planefinder.net showed no new information.
The existing videos are on the order of 100-300Mb large (too large to put online), but I will pull some stills from the better allsky2 system and see about compressing the video for display here in a few days.
All in all a good event to renew our interest in putting up higher resolution, colour allsky systems, to get outside ourselves more, and to keep up interest in the night sky. as sometimes it will throw you a curve.
Updated: 2013 August 29th
a summary image from Allsky2
North is down, west is left and east is right in this image. And at least having two cameras mean that you can eliminate the possibility of a single system failure or a local event (like fireflies).
Some of the other allsky2 camera images from the event: