An object that brightened intensely and then faded back into obscurity over a period of about seven months is unlike anything astronomers have seen before, a new study reports.

Nothing had been seen at its location before it started to brighten, and nothing was spotted after it dimmed. That suggests it is normally too faint to observe and that it brightened by at least 120 times during its firefly-like episode.

The object’s spectrum is also bizarre. It does not match that of anything seen in the mammoth Sloan Digital Sky Survey, which has mapped more than a quarter of the sky.

Space ‘firefly’ resembles no known object – space – 16 September 2008 – New Scientist Space

– cmon Branson et al, send Virgin Galactic out after it!!!!!!!!!!!!

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