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Author Topic: Is it possible to have two suns in the sky?  (Read 5012 times)

Offline thedoc

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Is it possible to have two suns in the sky?
« on: 24/12/2014 16:30:01 »
Mary Paino asked the Naked Scientists:
   
As early as 2010 there have been many documented events showing 2 suns in the sky (not sun dogs) of which I have personally witnessed, many videos and photographs. No telescope is needed my little Kodak is good enough to capture on film.

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 24/12/2014 16:30:01 by _system »


 

Offline Bill S

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Re: Is it possible to have two suns in the sky?
« Reply #1 on: 24/12/2014 18:50:36 »
Hi Mary, are you talking about phenomena that are not attributable to optical refraction, as was the Chinese example in 2011?
 

Offline PmbPhy

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Re: Is it possible to have two suns in the sky?
« Reply #2 on: 24/12/2014 19:17:30 »
Quote from: thedoc
Mary Paino asked the Naked Scientists:
   
As early as 2010 there have been many documented events showing 2 suns in the sky (not sun dogs) of which I have personally witnessed, many videos and photographs. No telescope is needed my little Kodak is good enough to capture on film.

What do you think?
Not possible. If it was a sun dog the it's not possible to tell that it wasn't one just by looking at it since they look identical to a sun. I've seen a sun dog myself within the last year and they look exactly the same. So what equipment did you use to tell you that what you saw was an actual sun? If it actually was a sun then it'd violate the laws of physics as we known them and the sun would make the earth very hot such as 150F
 

Offline evan_au

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Re: Is it possible to have two suns in the sky?
« Reply #3 on: 24/12/2014 20:29:41 »
If there were a second Sun in our sky (ie a glowing ball of gas), located anywhere within the outer orbit of Pluto, it would have scrambled the orbits of the planets so badly that there would be planets flying everywhere by now.

Did the documentation show where the second sun came from, or where it went to, and how long it stayed (in between)? A sun bright enough to be visible to the naked eye in daylight would still be easily visible in astronomical telescopes.
 

Offline syhprum

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Re: Is it possible to have two suns in the sky?
« Reply #4 on: 24/12/2014 21:41:52 »
I think it is possible to have a system  of planets orbiting a pair of stars that are closely orbiting each other but I do not know how stable such a system would be.
 

Offline jeffreyH

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Re: Is it possible to have two suns in the sky?
« Reply #5 on: 24/12/2014 23:02:23 »
The appearance of a second sun in the sky, other than by atmospheric effects, would require a very large mirrored surface in space tilted in our direction.
 

Offline Bill S

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Re: Is it possible to have two suns in the sky?
« Reply #6 on: 24/12/2014 23:42:08 »
Quote from: Syphrum
I think it is possible to have a system  of planets orbiting a pair of stars that are closely orbiting each other but I do not know how stable such a system would be.

There's an example here:

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/kepler/multimedia/images/kepler-47-art.html
 

Offline PmbPhy

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Re: Is it possible to have two suns in the sky?
« Reply #7 on: 25/12/2014 05:19:14 »
The appearance of a second sun in the sky, other than by atmospheric effects, would require a very large mirrored surface in space tilted in our direction.
If its a sun dog then its caused by the refraction of light. See:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun_dog
Quote
Sundogs are commonly made by the refraction of light from plate-shaped hexagonal ice crystals either in high and cold cirrus clouds or, during very cold weather, drifting in the air at low levels, in which case they are called diamond dust. The crystals act as prisms, bending the light rays passing through them with a minimum deflection of 22°. If the crystals are randomly oriented, a complete ring around the sun is seen — a halo. But often, as the crystals sink through the air, they become vertically aligned, so sunlight is refracted horizontally — in this case, sundogs are seen.
 

Offline jeffreyH

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Re: Is it possible to have two suns in the sky?
« Reply #8 on: 27/12/2014 02:49:06 »
The appearance of a second sun in the sky, other than by atmospheric effects, would require a very large mirrored surface in space tilted in our direction.
If its a sun dog then its caused by the refraction of light. See:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun_dog
Quote
Sundogs are commonly made by the refraction of light from plate-shaped hexagonal ice crystals either in high and cold cirrus clouds or, during very cold weather, drifting in the air at low levels, in which case they are called diamond dust. The crystals act as prisms, bending the light rays passing through them with a minimum deflection of 22°. If the crystals are randomly oriented, a complete ring around the sun is seen — a halo. But often, as the crystals sink through the air, they become vertically aligned, so sunlight is refracted horizontally — in this case, sundogs are seen.

The OP seemed to be indicating they thought this wasn't a sundog. I was pointing out another although improbably way this could happen. We don't always interpret what we see properly. Using Occam's razor should tell us this is likely a sun dog as the other options are less likely.
 

Offline PmbPhy

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Re: Is it possible to have two suns in the sky?
« Reply #9 on: 27/12/2014 03:15:33 »
Quote from: jeffreyH
The OP seemed to be indicating they thought this wasn't a sundog.
The problem with observations which are not made by scientists in the particular field interpret what they're observing with ignorance, i.e. they don't know what they're talking about. That means that just because they think that they're seeing another sun it doesn't mean that it's true. Have you ever seen one? As I said above I myself have seen a sun dog and it looked exactly the same as our own sun. So my question to the OP is how he knows that what he saw was an actual sun. The last thing I want to say on this point is that there was never another sun in our own solar system within recorded history.

Take a look at the photos I linked to and you'll see that you can't tell which object in the sky is the actual sun or a sun dog.
 

Offline Bill S

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Re: Is it possible to have two suns in the sky?
« Reply #10 on: 27/12/2014 17:11:06 »
Mary, don’t be put off by comments about observer ignorance; or by gender confusion  :).  Why not come back and tell us a bit more about your question?
 

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Re: Is it possible to have two suns in the sky?
« Reply #10 on: 27/12/2014 17:11:06 »

 

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