1 Random Sky Pic - 3 oddities...

Exif

New Member
First off, I'm not someone who frequents the internet often but this website recently caught my eye due to the outstanding open-mindedness of it's contributors; and after taking these oddity-containing-pics this morning - "Metabunk.org" was the first thing that entered my head - so here's the story...

I was standing in my garden having a smoke as I normally do in the morning (don't smoke in the house) and noticed a low flying aircraft, about 50% lower than I'm used to seeing as John Lennon Airport-bound flights go. My first thought was that this plane "is way too low and looks to be diving straight for terra firma" so as it disappeared behind a neighbouring house I grabbed my mobile phone, set the camera to it's largest/highest resolution setting and waited for the sound of an explosion and subsequent fireball, but...

Metabunk_1 002.jpg

^ It came back into view on course for John Lennon Airport. It appeared to be one of these or similar.

Anyway, drama over, I then noticed the morning sun off to my right and decided to take a random pic just to see how it turned out and this is the result...

Metabunk_1 001.jpg

The dark thing to the left of the contrail may well be the 'Beluga plane' but I'm not sure as this is a minute or two after the first pic, but upon viewing the second pic I noticed two other "oddities"...

Let me know what you see and if you don't spot them then I'll point them out. I'm not expecting aliens or anything, maybe it's just dirt on the lens, I don't know, but if anything I'm sure you regulars will enjoy the challenge of 'spot the oddities' and come up with perfectly reasonable explanations.

If it helps then here's a screen grab of the exif data for the second pic:

Exif_Data_Metabunk_1.PNG
 
Last edited:

Exif

New Member
People have different ideas of what an oddity is. So perhaps you could just tell us what you think is odd?
Maybe nothing is odd, I may even have the defintion of 'oddity' mixed up here but what I'm hoping your regulars can answer is...

  • What's the cause of that dark ring in the middle of the sun?
  • What's that bright white spherical thing top centre'ish of the [2nd] pic?
  • What's that dark thing [if not the probable Beluga plane] just left of the contrail on the right?
Note to Mick; I know you run a tight ship here by asking people to be on topic and straight to the point and it's something I respect greatly as it stops this site/forum from turning into a free-for-all headache but I ask you to go easy on me as I'm quite new to posting on public forums. If I'm not quite getting the gist of how things work around here then bear with me. Hopefully my bullet points above kind of answer your question - if not, i'll do my best to answer any constructive criticism. :)
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
The "Second Sun" is just lens internal reflection, like this:



It's roughly opposite the sun (across the center of the image)



(see attached mov)
 

Attachments

  • IMG_4346.MOV
    16.9 MB · Views: 415

Pete Tar

Senior Member.
Can you attach the original files, as pictures posted will resize and so won't represent the highest resolution available if people want to magnify them.
(I think that's right Mick?)
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
What's the cause of that dark ring in the middle of the sun?


I think it's a camera artifact. It's essentially some point around the sun where the sensor is transitioning from "OMGSUN!!! default to white" to "TOOBRIGHT!!! But I'll give it a go"
20140828-171342-mj3sk.jpg
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Can you attach the original files, as pictures posted will resize and so won't represent the highest resolution available if people want to magnify them.
(I think that's right Mick?)

Image attachments will resize as well. You'd need to compress them (zip them) and then upload the zip.
 

Pete Tar

Senior Member.
Pretty sure the black circle is just a CCD sensor overload - as to why it's not a solid circle I'm not sure, but its exact appearance probably varies model to model.

(edit - Mick's answer above is more likely to be correct)
 

Exif

New Member
Cheers Mick, I reckon that explanation of the "sphere" is as good as any.

Can you attach the original files, as pictures posted will resize and so won't represent the highest resolution available if people want to magnify them.
(I think that's right Mick?)

Accept my apologies but using computers isn't my forte; can you explain how I attach the original file please? If I right click on the image to view it, it displays in the correct size.
 

WeedWhacker

Senior Member
and noticed a low flying aircraft, about 50% lower than I'm used to seeing as John Lennon Airport-bound flights go. My first thought was that this plane "is way too low and looks to be diving straight for terra firma"

I strongly doubt this.

Are you familiar with Flightradar24? http://www.flightradar24.com/ You can see past history, for your location and date/time.

It appeared to be one of these or similar.

Well, there is an Airbus manufacturing plant in Broughton, Flintshire....only about 22 miles from Liverpool Airport. The Airbus wings are built there, and then transported by the Airbus "Beluga" for final assembly in Toulouse.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
What's that dark thing [if not the probable Beluga plane] just left of the contrail on the right?

20140828-171631-e7n9r.jpg

Probably a bird or a bug. Looks most like a bug.
Compare with individual birds in this flock of starlings, and imagine it was alone.
20140828-171912-ee54e.jpg


20140828-172019-4cw76.jpg
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Cheers Mick, I reckon that explanation of the "sphere" is as good as any.

It's the right one :)


Accept my apologies but using computers isn't my forte; can you explain how I attach the original file please? If I right click on the image to view it, it displays in the correct size.
No worries, looks like the original images were 1600, so it would not get resized.
 

Exif

New Member
I strongly doubt this.

Are you familiar with Flightradar24? http://www.flightradar24.com/ You can see past history, for your location and date/time.



Well, there is an Airbus manufacturing plant in Broughton, Flintshire....only about 22 miles from Liverpool Airport. The Airbus wings are built there, and then transported by the Airbus "Beluga" for final assembly in Toulouse.

Only familiar with flightradar24.com from reading threads here. What is it you 'strongly doubt'? The Beluga is something I've come accustomed to noticing overhead - probably once a week, which is why it's 'unusually low' flightpath attracted my attention this morning.
 

WeedWhacker

Senior Member
What is it you 'strongly doubt'?

This description of the airplane's path:

"....and looks to be diving straight for terra firma"

I've got over two decades' experience on large commercial airliners. When on approach, it is typical that the pitch attitude (the angle of the nose, relative to the ground) is fairly high (meaning...5° - 7°), for most large jets when they are "slow" and in the landing configuration.

Now....'if' the jet you saw was making a configuration change, or increasing speed (for any reason, sometimes ATC will request speed adjustments), then its pitch attitude will vary somewhat...but never, ever below the horizon (or 0° of pitch).
 

Pete Tar

Senior Member.
Accept my apologies but using computers isn't my forte; can you explain how I attach the original file please? If I right click on the image to view it, it displays in the correct size.
If it's the same resolution as the original then it's not an issue, just normally the forum will resize really large pictures.
If you had to you would compress it as a zip file then use the 'upload a file' option to attach it, but you don't need to in this case so nevermind.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Pretty sure the black circle is just a CCD sensor overload - as to why it's not a solid circle I'm not sure, but its exact appearance probably varies model to model.

(edit - Mick's answer above is more likely to be correct)

It's certainly some form of CCD overload or similar. However I've not seen on like that - they used to be a solid black circle. The small area of pixels outside it is likely a lens imperfection that's focusing a bit of raw sun off to the side.
 

Exif

New Member
This description of the airplane's path:
Aah, right. That Beluga came in to view coming straight toward me and veered left (the plane's left, my right) as do a lot of planes coming in to JLA. As it was coming toward me it appeared to be diving quite rapidly and disappeared behind my neighbour's house before coming back into view having swung left while out of my view and reappearing as you see it in that first pic.
 

Exif

New Member
I don't think there's a doubt you're right with it being the Hamburg to Liverpool which landed at 10:13...

Exif_Time_Mbnk.PNG

Interesting to see that tight left turn from the flight radar as I can picture it clearly from ground level.

Maybe I just found my new favourite website - informative as ever!
 

Exif

New Member
it says screen capture type "night" maybe that has something to do with it? (random guess)
I've just checked my phone/camera settings and yes; it's set to 'Night Mode ON'. Changed the setting to 'OFF' and seeing as the next few days' weather is forecast as similar to what you see in those pics I'll see if I can get the same shot and compare pics.

It may or may not contribute to answering/explaining similar questions in the future.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
I've just checked my phone/camera settings and yes; it's set to 'Night Mode ON'. Changed the setting to 'OFF' and seeing as the next few days' weather is forecast as similar to what you see in those pics I'll see if I can get the same shot and compare pics.

It may or may not contribute to answering/explaining similar questions in the future.
try to do the same time so you get the same light
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Looks like it was F-GSTF, from Hamburg to Liverpool, landed 09:13 GMT (10:13 local time)

My methodology there was:
  • Find a photo of a Beluga at John Lennon Airport try to get the registration number
  • Didn't find the reg, but saw it had a 4 on the front so searched for Airbus Beluga #4
  • Found a pic with a reg F-GSTA
  • Found the FR24 page: http://www.flightradar24.com/data/airplanes/f-gsta/
  • Clicked on Airbus Transport International
  • Went though each of the five Belugas, the last one F-GSTF, had a flight to Liverpool, but no track
  • It landed at 9:13, so went to replay in the area at 9:00
  • BGA134F was the only big plane inbound.
 

Trailspotter

Senior Member.
If there's any information to be found on the plane's course @Trailspotter will probably find it.
Sorry, the 'mystery' was posted and solved while I was sleeping :(

PS As the time (10:06 AM BST = 9:06 UTC) and approximate location (near JLA) of the photo were known, I would have started with replaying FR24 in that area and looked for a Beluga plane, the distinct shape of which is noticeable in the photo.
 

Trailblazer

Moderator
Staff member
The phone you used (Samsung GT-B3210) uses a CMOS sensor in its camera, rather than a CCD.

CMOS sensors are well known for showing very bright pixels as black: Google "CMOS black sun" for more links.

Here is a video showing the effect nicely:
Usually you get a solid black circle, but given that the outer ring of the sun usually appears to be the brightest part, I can see a situation where only that thin ring is bright enough to clip to black. See this image of the sun: the outer circumference of the sun is brighter than the centre of the disk:



As for the small round "orb", that is a classic lens reflection: the image of the sun.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Usually you get a solid black circle, but given that the outer ring of the sun usually appears to be the brightest part, I can see a situation where only that thin ring is bright enough to clip to black. See this image of the sun: the outer circumference of the sun is brighter than the centre of the disk:

That seems very unlikely to me. It's very strong sunlight, and the bright ring you show is very thin, and not in a visible wavelength. If you view the sun through a 10-stop neutral density filter you get:
20140829-072027-iuzg6.jpg

Which is dimmer at the edges.

I suspect it might actually be a software filtering error. The sun is so bright that it overloads the sensor, so at a raw level it's got the familiar "black sun" effect:



However, samsung is clever, and there's a bit set in these pixels that marks them as "overflow") in the raw image, here shown by magenta.


Now when the camera saves this raw image internally as a .jpg, it converts all these marked pixels to white (or maybe a color which is the average of the surrounding pixels). No more black sun, yay Samsung!


However, the camera also has a 4x digital zoom. This enlarges the raw image before it is saves, and filters it to remove jaggy edges, so we get:


Now while most of the sun disk is marked as "overflow", the pixels around the edge are blended with the surroundings, and the newly blended pixels were not flagged as bad:


So when the bad pixels are removed, there's a ring:


(which will actually be black, just using magenta for clarity).

This type of error is common in computer graphics when rescaling images with transparency (the equivalent of the "overflow" mask here). For example the common problem with OpenGL premultiplied alpha.

http://stackoverflow.com/questions/...-the-dark-borders-around-letters-using-opengl
 

Trailblazer

Moderator
Staff member
Yes I concur Mick, that is more likely. I know that some early cameras that used CMOS sensors were given firmware patches that replaced the "black sun" with a "white sun", or, more generally, replaced overloaded pixels with pure white rather than pure black. Presumably this auto replacement is now commonplace — certainly I have never noticed the black sun effect on my iPhone, which also uses a CMOS sensor. It is still often seen in webcam images though, when the sun is in shot.

My thoughts were based on the fact that sometimes to the naked eye the sun appears with a brighter "rim" around it too. (Not that looking at the sun is to be recommended!)
 

Trailspotter

Senior Member.
PS As the time (10:06 AM BST = 9:06 UTC) and approximate location (near JLA) of the photo were known, I would have started with replaying FR24 in that area and looked for a Beluga plane, the distinct shape of which is noticeable in the photo.

I've just done this and found that the plane in question actually has landed in a different airport, not LJLA ;)
Screen shot 2014-08-29 at 17.33.25.png
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
I've just done this and found that the plane in question actually has landed in a different airport, not LJLA ;)
View attachment 8840

Aha, I though that was just an extrapolation error (you sometimes see the planes go past their airport). But yes:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hawarden_Airport
 

Exif

New Member
try to do the same time so you get the same light
Note: Not trying to bump this thread - this is just an FYI thing...

Been a month or so since I posted those images, I know, but I'm just letting you know I did play with the settings at the same time (this morning) and was able to get the same effect.
 
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