For starter, I'm a beginner/noob in astronomy so it might be an obvious answer but I keep asking it to myself

I was watching the sky in the night looking for shooting stars, there was plenty of them, but at the end of my observation, I saw a star that was idle in the sky suddenly disappear in a small flash.

At first, I was like "Ok, I might just saw a star that just died" but that's not how lightspeed works, that's a slow process and I shouldn't have seen it like that in a flash of light, because it takes much more longer.

Do someone have any idea of what it could be ?

  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to Astronomy SE! Questions about an unidentified object in the sky might be difficult to answer, if not accompanied by precise information about the observation. Please, refer to astronomy.stackexchange.com/help/on-topic $\endgroup$
    – Prallax
    Aug 14, 2021 at 7:21

1 Answer 1


Here's one possibility, a meteor traveling straight toward you.

Since the Perseids are peaking around now, which is probably why you were looking for shooting stars, let's consider if it could have been a meteor.

They can move in many directions, and one of those possible directions is directly towards you. If a meteor's trajectory was pointed at you it would appear to be motionless for a second or two, then suddenly "poof" disappear.

If you were looking at the star for 10 or 20 seconds steadily and it shone steadily for all of that time, then this is probably not an explanation, meteors are usually pretty quick, especially if they are diving straight into the atmosphere rather than grazing it.

BUT if you had glanced to that area just a few seconds earlier, you might have done so just after it became visible. It's perfectly possible that you moved your gaze to that area just after it appeared, so that the first change you noticed was it disappearing a few seconds later.


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