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I have recently gotten into observing the night skies and learning about the stars/ star systems that are visible to me using an app on my phone. For the last month or so Venus and Mars appear in the early evening followed by some of the regular constellations (Orion, the two Canis'....) and later in the night skies Jupiter followed closely by the moon with Saturn peering out before daybreak. Yesterday night at around 20:15hrs I was looking up at the clear skies as I happened to be outside. I took a peek at the bright stars Sirius, Canopus and Rigel before concentrating on the Pleiades. As I was looking at that, one of the stars seemed to disappear in front my eyes. I thought it an illusion and carried on looking and about 6-7secs later a star appeared to the right of where I thought I saw one disappear initially. The light stayed for about 2secs and off it went again. I felt like someone was flashing a torch or even space station personnel having a call and response (baffled). One thing I was sure of was that it wasn't a plane as I am an Aeronautics man by profession and am familiar with all aircraft strobes. Another 6-7secs later it reappeared even further to the right than the second time round. For the next 11mins or so it came on and off at those regular intervals and yet still traveling to the right until it was out of my sight. tried to record a video of it with my phone but it wouldn't pick it up nor could it the other brighter stars. I was almost convinced by the end that it was some celestial matter but for the flashing light at exact intervals. Is it one of satellites in orbit? If so, is it normal for it to be equipped with flashing light/ strobe?

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closed as unclear what you're asking by Sir Cumference, James K, David Hammen, Dean, called2voyage Feb 22 '17 at 13:45

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    $\begingroup$ Sorry, but there are no astronomical phenomena that can be described as a flashing moving star. $\endgroup$ – James K Feb 17 '17 at 23:49
  • $\begingroup$ Distant drone maybe? You may be familiar with traditional aircraft strobes, but there are a host of new consumer drones out there. $\endgroup$ – called2voyage Feb 20 '17 at 20:07
  • $\begingroup$ @ James K: Absolutely fair enough. I know for a star that far away to cover my night sky in 11mins or so is beyond the realms of plausibility. The title is more tongue in cheek than true belief. $\endgroup$ – Tessema Feb 21 '17 at 0:21
  • $\begingroup$ @ called2voyage: Thanks. It looked too high up to be a drone and also I'm based in Ethiopia where drones are banned. $\endgroup$ – Tessema Feb 21 '17 at 0:24
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    $\begingroup$ @Tessema Actually, Ethiopia recently changed their laws to allow drones in certain circumstances, and there are military and scientific drones that can reach higher altitudes than consumer drones. I'm afraid at this point it may be impossible to identify what you saw--the information is not quite specific enough. $\endgroup$ – called2voyage Feb 22 '17 at 13:45
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It is highly likely that what you have seen is an Iridium communications satellite. Because of the material covered, it can reflect sun light and appear very bright and sometimes flashing.

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    $\begingroup$ Iridium flares are seen at one place, they don't repeat, they are not flashing. with a period of about 9 seconds. This is not a description of an iridium flare. $\endgroup$ – James K Feb 19 '17 at 16:57
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    $\begingroup$ Thanks to both. That was the most persistent possible explanation I came up with during my initial search for an answer. But, as James said, the flashing light being at exact intervals made it seem more man made than anything else. $\endgroup$ – Tessema Feb 21 '17 at 0:29

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