Explain this UFO (not little green men) to me.

Earth orbiting satellite? Lunar satellite? What is this? Optical illusion?

Looks like a shadow to me. Presumably of the satellite, but I’m no expert.

I hate that website with the passion of a thousand suns, for starters. I couldn’t even get to the video for all the pop-overs, slide-ups and other ad crap. Those web designers need to eat a bullet.

Since the link goes to a crappy website with an embedded YouTube video, and the video itself has a lot of crap before it gets to the point, here’s a more useful link to the video.

Now able to view the video without invasion I am going to say satellite. Maybe the ISS or a high-flying plane on the outside.

The youtube commentary by the video’s author states it’s an earth-orbiting satellite.

Cool vid, but nothing out of the ordinary.

That would be my guess. It appears to change shape when it passes over a crater.

Assuming the video is being shown in real time, it’s going too slow to be a satellite in low earth orbit. It takes something like a minute to go the entire lunar diameter, so many hours to go 360 degrees (the moon has an angular diameter of about half a degree). My guess is it is a high altitude airplane. It is traveling too uniformly to be an insect at close range.

Good idea, JWT. I wonder how someone managed to take the video at the appropriate moment.

I’m guessing they just got lucky, assuming it is an aircraft. It would have been nice if they kept photographing the moon for a month. Then we’d know if it was a one off, yes?

I can’t quite follow this; could you elaborate?

To me it appears the shadow (my guess) crosses the entire face (diameter?) of the moon in about a minute.

I think that the shape change may be an optical illusion of light and shadow.

I had to look at it several times in the blue format between the 3 and 4 minute mark but… there seem to be very slight shadows that dissipate behind it of what looks like vapor from propulsion?
This may be an optical illusion too, but if not, I second satellite (possibly making course corrections) or an extreme high altitude plane.

That is why I believe it to be a shadow. :slight_smile:

The Moon is about 1/2 a degree wide. There are 360 degrees in a complete circle. Which means it would take about 360 / 1/2 = 720 moons lined up side by side to make a complete ring around the Earth *a la *Saturn.

Now the object we see doesn’t go through the geometric center of the Moon’s face from our POV; it cuts across closer to an edge. And because it isn’t a Full Moon, we have to guess a bit about where the left edge of the moon really is. As well the vid tends to start after the object has already penetrated some the way in from the lower right edge of the moon. All these factors would make it hard for us to say exactly how long a complete transit would take. But something around a minute, maybe a minute 10 seems reasonable.

Assuming it takes 1 minute for our object to transit the full width of the Moon to keep the math simple, it’d take about 720 minutes or 12 hours for the object to complete an orbit all the way around the Earth.

Low earth orbit objects like the space station take about 90 minutes to make an orbit. Geosynchronous satellites take 24 hours to make an orbit. So assuming it’s in orbit around Earth we’re looking at something between those two altitudes.

There are things in mid-altitude orbits, but not many.

I discounted the possibility that it is close to the moon. It would have to be enormous and traveling at 30 miles per second. From the size of the image, I estimate the object would have to be about 25 miles across at lunar distance. An asteroid might fill the bill, but it is much more likely to be something much smaller and closer to Earth.

During both the blue and the natural color sections earlier in the vid, it seems like the object leaves a continuous distortion trail about as wide as the object and several object diameters long. In a couple spots the distortion trail briefly thickens as it’s being emitted but rapidly degrades to the same degree of distortion as the rest of the trail.

To me that looks a lot like jet engine exhaust in an environment which almost, but not quite, forms contrails.
Ref my immediately earlier post to Ellis Dee, the author tells us he times the transit at around a minute. But he’s not quite sure; somehow he *forgot *the actual number. Which prompts us to believe the video is being shown to us in real time. But he never actually says that. He talks about a bunch of other potential distortions he says he didn’t do. But nothing about changing the speed of the video.

If the video is in fact shot at high speed & played back slowly, we could be looking at a transit by an ordinary high altitude airplane taking just a few seconds, but slowed down so it *appears *to take about a minute.

As to the fact it isn’t shaped like an airplane …

He is shooting a video focused on an object 240,000 miles away. A high altitude jet is between 8 miles away if straight overhead to maybe 60 miles away if the Moon is at a low elevation angle when he shot it.

The airplane would naturally be expected to be very much out of focus. As such it’ll appear as a soft-edged blob with diffused features. And the more out of focus it is, the more just blob-like it will be, versus having any recognizable shape at all.

Finally, anything seen in an image which is well out of focus will have a diffraction fringe around it. Which will only get more prominent under magnification.

Having thought about this a bit more I conclude (FWIW to y’all) that this is a sped up video of a small or distant jet airplane passing in front of the moon.

Aha, that’s what I was missing. My original misunderstanding of JWT’s post was “it’s going too slow to be a satellite in low earth orbit[, which] takes something like a minute to go the entire lunar diameter.”

Now I understand that he meant “it’s going too slow to be a satellite in low earth orbit [because it] takes something like a minute to go the entire lunar diameter[, which is much too slow.]”

Thanks much for the explanation.

A shadow on the moon?? Visible form earth??? Of what… a satellite? That must be one BIG satellite.

JWT Kottekoe has a good point, it moves awfully slowly for a satellite. For reference though here are some pics of the ISS transiting the moon.
Considering how yellow the moon is it must have been low in the sky. I think distant aircraft is best explanation so far.

in low earth orbit.

Assuming we’re seeing the vid in real time, neither sped up nor slowed down, the object is much too *slow *for a low-earth-orbit satellite. And simultaneously much too *fast *for a geosynchronous-orbit satellite.

Silhouette would be a better term. An airplane’s silhouette is visible at night when it flies in the light of the moon.