Red Triangle on face of the moon

johne1618

Active Member
There is a MUFON case 118118 dated 2021-09-20 of a red triangle photographed on the face of the moon.

Long Description of Sighting Report - Case 118118
I bought a new Canon Digital Camera with a 40x zoom and a 4x Digital zoom equally 160x zoom. I wanted to see how good it worked on a Full Moon. In taking several photos, I first captured a red triangle and then 5 shots later in the same location, I caught a second shape, like it had turned sideways.

Is there any known object orbiting the moon that looks like that?

Could it be in Earth orbit instead?

Why wasn't it caught in the intervening 5 shots?

118118_submitter_file1__IMG0596a.jpg


118118_submitter_file2__IMG0596ab.jpg
118118_submitter_file3__IMG0600a.jpg
118118_submitter_file4__IMG0600ab.jpg
 

DavidB66

Senior Member
Why wasn't it caught in the intervening 5 shots?
What was the time interval between shots?

It seems highly unlikely to be orbiting the moon. Apart from anything else, it has a discernible angular size relative to the moon itself - say, of the order of 1% - so if it is in orbit round the moon, say within 1000 km of the surface, it would have to be far larger than any known orbiter in order to be visible at all from earth.

It is probably also too large to be an earth satellite. It looks similar in size to the ISS when it transits the moon, but that is very large (for a satellite) and relatively close to the earth.
 

JMartJr

Senior Member
The irregular shape suggests something organic, like a bird or insect, much closer to the camera.
The shapes suggest bird, to my eye... or possibly bat. (In the image below I emphasized birdiness in the upper image, and wasmore batty in the lower. And I'd caution that I am as susceptible to pareidolia as they next person.) I'd disregard the red tint -- there seems to be a lot of patchy reddish tint all through the image, for some reason,most notable below in the upper image..

moonbirdie.jpg
 

AmberRobot

Active Member
I would say that in this case his digital zoom is actually not a good thing, as it is likely to generate artifacts in the pixel scale that will make it harder to identify anything small.
 

Easy Muffin

Senior Member
Just some quick considerations.

The Moon is about 1600 px across, the object about 16 px or 1% of that. The Moon's angular diameter is about 0.5° so the object measures about 0.005°.
Let's assume the object is 0.5 m top to bottom, something like a bird flapping its wings. That would put it 5730 m away. Assuming the Moon is 45° above the horizon, about 4000 m above the ground.
Lots of assumptions of course. It would help if we knew where and when exactly the photos were taken.

If someone wants to play around with different values,
the distance is x / 2*tan(0.0025°), where x is the object's size
the height above ground is the distance * sin(y), where y is the moon's elevation angle (not accounting for the curvature of the Earth but that should be negligible over these short distances)

For example with x = 0.3 m and y = 25°, its altitude is 1450 m. You can make these vary wildy but they're all in the ballpark for a bird or a bat or something like that.
 

DavidB66

Senior Member
As the pictures seem to have been taken well into the night, that would suggest bat rather than bird (though a few birds do fly by night - e.g. owls and nightjars). A jerky, irregular motion, flitting into and out of shot, would also be more consistent with a bat. Or if it is closer to the camera, maybe a moth!
 

JMartJr

Senior Member
As the pictures seem to have been taken well into the night, that would suggest bat rather than bird (though a few birds do fly by night - e.g. owls and nightjars). A jerky, irregular motion, flitting into and out of shot, would also be more consistent with a bat. Or if it is closer to the camera, maybe a moth!
Maybe more than a few. Seems lots of birds will fly at night if there is enough light to see by -- here's a vid of seagulls flying in the lights shining on the ocean below a fishing pier.

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4CIVsO71Z2k

Seagulls fly at night

And I have wrens that fly on and off my porch all night if I leave the light on (so I try to not leave it on, thinking they probably need their sleep!)
Is a big, clear, full moon sufficient to fly by? Maybe
 

Ravi

Senior Member.
Would be nice to see the uncropped raw images. Then we can possibly check if it remains in one position only.
Interesting also to know what he used, a tripod? Or freehand? Not mentioned.

Also OP has to provide some links to this mufon case, imo.
 

johne1618

Active Member
Would be nice to see the uncropped raw images. Then we can possibly check if it remains in one position only.
Interesting also to know what he used, a tripod? Or freehand? Not mentioned.

Also OP has to provide some links to this mufon case, imo.
Sorry I don't have full access to the MUFON database. I've supplied all the information I've got.
 

JMartJr

Senior Member
Assuming there are really five intervening shots with no UFO, that seems weird to me -- perhaps weird enough to be a clue. If it is a bird/insect/satellite/alien or anything else flying between the camera and the moon, it seems unlikely that it would return to almost the exact same spot as seen against the face of the moon for another shot, all the more so with so many intervening shots. If it is something on or in the camera, it would be more likely to show up in the same spot against the moon when the moon is framed the same way in a shot, but it seems odd it goes away and comes back.

Seeing the intervening shots, and uncropped shots so that it can be determined if the moon is framed similarly in the two we have (and differently in the ones where no UFO is visible), would seem to me to be critical to figuring out what we are looking at.
 

Occam’sLawyer

New Member
The irregular shape suggests something organic, like a bird or insect, much closer to the camera.
It certainly appears to be an object that is much closer to the camera than the Moon itself. With all the known satellites and space junk in orbit, along with potential other (much closer) objects, this is likely something much more explainable than a UFO.
 

AmberRobot

Active Member
It certainly appears to be an object that is much closer to the camera than the Moon itself. With all the known satellites and space junk in orbit, along with potential other (much closer) objects, this is likely something much more explainable than a UFO.
The only thing that could be in orbit and look that big is a space station. The picture above is almost the same angular size as the ISS. So it is most likely not something outside the Earth’s atmosphere.
 
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