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No. 88: Jul-Aug 1993

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Un Oggetto Misterioso

April 22, 1966. Genova and Novi di Modena, Italy. We have just learned of this "mysterious object." Translation provided by P. Cortesi.

"Near the star Alfa Hydrae (see illustration) appeared a perfect bright sphere, about 5 apparent diameter; it became largest in a few seconds, then it grew thinner and appeared like a line. In 45 minutes, its brilliance diminished progressively, and it disappeared at the western horizon.

"From astronomical observations by some amateur astronomers were calculated the following data: The object's altitude was between 600 and 650 kilometers above the earth's surface; at its biggest dimension, the object was 95 kilometers wide; it was over the Mediterranean Sea, in a place between Algiers and the Balearic Islands.

"No astronomer was able to explain the phenomenon, and the university astronomical review Coelum denominated it 'un oggetto misterioso' (a mysterious object)."

(Anonymous; Coelum, 34:36, May-June 1966. Cr. P. Cortesi.)

From Science Frontiers #88, JUL-AUG 1993. 1993-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987