What is this ???

Was out shooting star-trails tonight and while waiting, happened to glance up and saw this line high above us, it gradually moved to the west, remaining about the same length as it went. Took about 5 mins or so to disappear.

My only idea was that maybe it was an high altitude con-trail reflecting the light from the setting crescent moon (camera right).

35mm, 10 sec, f/1.4, iso 3200.

View all photos taken: Friday, 6th December 2013, This photo: 9:08pm

Previous Photo: C/2012 S1 (ISON)


  • Peter Hegarty said:
    Looks like a mini comet/fragment??
  • David de Groot said:
    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/wmzaphod] That's what it "looked" like, but it only lasted for about 10-15 mins total. First saw it directly overhead at 9:04pm and then this shot was 9:08pm (that's Venus setting on the right), and by 9:15 or so it was gone.
  • Peter Hegarty said:
    Interesting, will ask around.
  • David de Groot said:
    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/wmzaphod] Cool thanks :) 'was pretty impressive to see, and completely unexpected.
  • accesser said:
    Very interesting indeed David right place right time
  • frozendeath666 said:
    hmmm awesome, but it's just a meteor or a comet? i see it so long...
  • David de Groot said:
    ABC News is reporting this is the debris cloud from Comet ISON. I'm quite skeptical of that claim.
  • Darren B Williamson said:
    Hi David
    I had a friend post they saw a large meteor , just trying to find if it was last night.. might explain this "debris trail" in the sky :)
  • David de Groot said:
    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/56991387@N07] Interesting, I didn't see the meteor if it was one, but may not have been looking at that part of the sky at the time.
  • colinbryant2 said:
    i heard elsewhere that comet ison actually went around the sun and is still well and alive.... but for some reason the news with nasa are telling this story... probably to create false hope that the government is doing something right.... even tho this has nothing to do with them in any way.. they just observe it.. with a path that takes over 480 thousand years how could the lie go wrong?
  • lacomj said:
    I'd guess it is a high altitude aircraft contrail, drifting and dissipating away. ISON is still really near the sun right now, so you'd only see it just before dawn (close to the sun). Was this pre-dawn?
  • David de Groot said:
    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/40137058@N07] No, 9:04pm. Thus why I don't believe it was anything to do with ISON. Couple that with the fact it did not return the following night. I thought aircraft contrail, but Mark from the planetarium reckons there probably wasn't enough illumination from the crescent moon to reflect from that.
  • ibsut said:
    If it was moving, relative to the stars, it would probably be atmospheric.
  • David de Groot said:
    General consensus is a fuel dump from a rocket launch.
  • s.westhead (Simon) said:
    What ever it is it's a very cool shot.