They are bright, they are beautiful, they are like diamonds in the sky but not all that twinkles are stars. So here’s a question: What’s that light in the sky?
It’s not uncommon to see moving or blinking lights in the sky especially when you live in a city or near it, which of course could be an airplane. Otherwise, if you live far from a city, that bright light is likely a planet which is constrained to appear near the horizon just before dawn or after dusk. Sometimes the low apparent motion of a distant airplane near the horizon makes it hard to tell from a bright planet, but even this can usually be discerned by the plane’s motion over a few minutes. One that moves slowly with coloured lights makes it an aircraft. Slower still and it is a satellite. Moving only a little each night makes it a planet, and if it never moves at all it is a star.
Ignorance of the night-sky lights have brought about different beliefs and conspiracy theories such as the UFOs, which many belief to be an alien spacecraft; the 2012 Nibiru panic in which thousands of people believed the world was facing destruction, Nibiru is an imagined giant planet at the edge of the solar system. The ancient Sumerians allegedly predicted that in December 2012 it would invade Earth’s orbit causing havoc and slaughter. Another is the supposedly Great Rift where the Milky Way divides in the constellation of Cygnus. This theory had it that earth would be swallowed up and “dark gods will devour degenerate peoples.” This idea is attributed to the ancient Mayans, although the exact Mayan prediction has never been found. The Great Rift is like a black river which stretches from the bright star Deneb in Cygnus down south-west to Sagittarius, the centre of our galaxy. On either side of it are bright star clouds, but the river itself consists of obscuring dust which looks mysteriously black.
Asides the moon, nocturnal objects that may light up the night-sky could be any of bolides or fireballs (moves rapidly and super-bright), comets (fuzzy with a tail), artificial satellite, masthead light or the international space station.