So I'm interested in space scientifically. I do have a firm belief that there could be intelligent civilizations in our universe. Just wanted to get that out of the way.

I've been spending the evenings in the garden due the weather. Past two days I've seen the same similar thing and I'm not sure what it is. I have observed many 'shooting stars', planets, satellites, and aircraft. It's just one solid bright white light. I actually checked it with binoculars I had in the kitchen an yeah all I can see is bright white light. It is much brighter and larger to my eye than satellites appear. It is about 22:00 when I see these it is pretty dark but I wouldn't say peak darkness. It moves steadily faster than large aircraft like commercial flights that I can see. It moves in a straight line I think and is fully visible but just as that bright light.

I could possibly go to lengths and get images of it if anyone wants I took video on both occasions. They are pretty clear and I tried adjusting stuff on the camera to improve the quality while filming.

Anyway, would be interested in what it could be obviously. Responses will be appreciated.


Okay, so the town I'm in is called Colchester, United Kingdom. I was facing West, it came from above the cloud, was to the right side of Bootes. Carried on in a straight line across the whole sky travelling East until it was no longer visible. The light remained bright the entire time.

Oh, and 22:00, GMT.

I am uploading the videos and images, I will link to it.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The most critical piece of information for any "what is this thing I saw in the sky?" questions is Where in the sky did you see it? $\endgroup$
    – Ingolifs
    Jul 27, 2018 at 0:42
  • $\begingroup$ Things that behave like a satellite are probably a satellite. These can be checked from www.heavens-above.com if they are not secret military satellites. Otherwise, the information that would help to identify any object would be your location (nearest city, or latitude and longitude), the time (you mentioned 22:00), the time zone (UTC or your local time zone), whether you are on standard time or summer time, what constellations the object passed through, and approximate time to move from "point A" to "point B". $\endgroup$
    – JohnHoltz
    Jul 27, 2018 at 3:39
  • $\begingroup$ Just edited the above to include the responses. $\endgroup$
    – user23817
    Jul 27, 2018 at 8:56
  • $\begingroup$ It was probably Clarke Kent (notice the British spelling) with a lantern. $\endgroup$
    – Lucian
    Jul 27, 2018 at 17:31
  • $\begingroup$ astronomy.stackexchange.com/questions/13488 is a "canonical" answer, but it sounds like you've exhausted those possibilities $\endgroup$
    – user21
    Jul 27, 2018 at 17:36

3 Answers 3


The International Space Station can appear as bright as Venus, typically crosses the sky in about 6 minutes, and passes directly over the UK several evenings this week. Heavens Above provides a table of ISS passes visible from a given location. Their chart of a July 25 pass is consistent with your revised description.

  • $\begingroup$ ISS? I just didn't think it would be that bright. $\endgroup$
    – user23817
    Jul 29, 2018 at 20:19

Very likely the ISS. The time it takes to cross the sky varies depending on the height above the horizon, up to a maximum of about 6 minutes. Nasa provides a site called "Spot The Station" where you can sign up to get a notification email whenever an ISS pass is visible from your location.


The ISS can be very bright. I think that may be what you were looking at.

I am in South England, so would see a very similar sight to you. That week the ISS was passing W to E, and it would have appeared to come from the 'right' of Bootes if facing W. I observed it myself that week.

In fact, my astronomy group chat shows that on the night of the 25th we observed the ISS pass at 22.30ish and again at 00.05ish. Judging by the date of your post and mentioning you had seen it the 'past few days' I am 99% certain that your observations match my own. You were looking at the ISS.


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