Unusual Brightening of Gamma Ophiuchi

Strange things happen in the night sky occasionally. Marcos Silva brought one such event to our attention via his July 2nd post on the VSS Google Group discussion forum. A meteor monitoring video recorded gamma Ophiuchi brighten by several magnitudes then return to normal in just a few seconds.

This is very unlikely to have been a real phenomenon associated with the star itself. Most probably it was a satellite flash or point meteor (heading directly toward the camera) that just happened to be coincident with gamma Oph.

When playing the video it may be necessary to use full screen mode to see the whole image. Gamma Oph is at the bottom right of the screen as shown in the image below.

Capture of video showing specific objects

Thanks to Zaac Leite who owns the Brazilian Meteor Observation Network (BRAMON) station that recorded the video at 00:53:48 UTC on June 29, 2019 using a Samsung SCB 2000 Security Camera located near Rondonópolis, Brazil, and BRAMON coordinator Marcelo Zurita for allowing VSS to use the video.


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