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That was an interesting question. Was it deleted? If so, why? The browser record links to Page not found. If it was moved to another SE, there should be a redirection or something.

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  • $\begingroup$ Do you mean this one: astronomy.stackexchange.com/questions/39399/…? $\endgroup$
    – Mick
    May 26 at 17:05
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    $\begingroup$ @Mick No, today another similar question was post (but the planet or whatever it was looked much larger and distinguishible, like the Moon) but it's no longer there. $\endgroup$
    – Giovanni
    May 26 at 17:06
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    $\begingroup$ Maybe the OP deleted it? This sometimes happens when a quaerant gets a quick answer to a question. It's as annoying as heck if you spent time and effort providing the answer. Your question is likely to be moved to Meta, BTW. $\endgroup$
    – Mick
    May 26 at 17:09
  • $\begingroup$ @Mick Unfortunately I can't remember the OP's name. If they weren't a one-time-visitor, I hope they see this question and lift the veil. $\endgroup$
    – Giovanni
    May 26 at 17:11
  • $\begingroup$ @Mick I know but I can't write on meta, for I'm unregistered. $\endgroup$
    – Giovanni
    May 26 at 17:12
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    $\begingroup$ The easiest way to stop people doing this is to up-vote an answer. Then the OP is not allowed to delete the question (iirc). $\endgroup$
    – Mick
    May 26 at 17:13
  • $\begingroup$ @Mick The last (and only) time I've seen it there wasn't any answer as yet, just a proposition in the comments with a link (either Venus (but I doubt that) or dirt on the lens). $\endgroup$
    – Giovanni
    May 26 at 17:14
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    $\begingroup$ Test. Seems I can write here. $\endgroup$
    – Giovanni
    May 26 at 17:17
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    $\begingroup$ @Giovanni it's back! :-) $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    May 27 at 17:48
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Here's the link to the question, which was deleted by the author (you need 2,000 reputation points to view deleted posts). A user suggested in the comments that this question would be helpful, and the author responded that it did address their question, and chose to delete their post because they felt it didn't need to be kept around. There weren't any serious issues in general, and nobody had written an answer - really just a couple of comments discussing the duplicate.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thank you. * sad * I had a far-fetched hope that it was a rogue planet entering our system or something. It didn't look like a donut, but was without a hole. It looked like if it was another planet/moon in the night sky. $\endgroup$
    – Giovanni
    May 26 at 17:52
  • $\begingroup$ @Giovanni It definitely looked like a lens artifact, just a different kind. $\endgroup$
    – called2voyage Mod
    May 26 at 17:53
  • $\begingroup$ @called2voyage Or like another moon. I remember that the author somewhat doubted it's a lens artifact when I've seen their question. Even if (s)he agreed, I think there was no need for deletion. In cases like the one above it usually isn't deleted but marked as duplicate and the original question remains like this. $\endgroup$
    – Giovanni
    May 26 at 18:15
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    $\begingroup$ @Giovanni We didn't delete it. The author did. $\endgroup$
    – called2voyage Mod
    May 26 at 18:16
  • $\begingroup$ @called2voyage It's a pity. They could have left it for the public to let them know something like this reportedly is a lens artifact only. Otherwise, a similar question might repeat. $\endgroup$
    – Giovanni
    May 26 at 18:17
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    $\begingroup$ @Giovanni ya the donut question was the wrong one to propose as duplicate. See my answers 1, 2 it was probably a lens reflection or lens flare. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    May 26 at 22:47
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    $\begingroup$ @uhoh Thanks. So it obviously was a lens reflection of the Sun. $\endgroup$
    – Giovanni
    May 27 at 5:15
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    $\begingroup$ update: It's been undeleted and answered $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    May 27 at 17:44
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I'm OP, so I'll shed some light on this.

The reason I deleted the question was a combination of:

  • I'm a bit of a privacy freak and the question itself contains my exact location at an exact timestamp.
  • The way @B--rian responded in the comments left me with the impression that it's completely obvious to anyone in this space that it was a lens artefact. As in there are thousands of photos just like this one (or close).

So from my PoV it didn't make sense to make a minor privacy compromise in order to leave a "doh" question documented, unlikely to serve anyone.

I specifically asked @B--rian to post his comment as an answer so I could reward him for the effort, but he explicitly elected not to. So that wasn't part of the consideration either.


As pointed out by @uhoh, I'm now completely convinced that it was a lens flare as the effect exactly matches the one found in the first photo here.


Given that there is some interest in the question, I'm reopening it.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks! I've added an answer there as well. You've hot-linked to the image in google; might one way to remove "exact location at an exact timestamp" be to import the image, perhaps reduced in size or with a watermark added, into Stack Exchange's imgur? Or is the copyright thing unappealing? There may be other ways around this problem, I wonder if you could raise it in the main meta (I think it's a really good question and I'd like to know the answer!) if it hasn't been asked and answered already. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    May 27 at 17:47
  • $\begingroup$ But how does it reveal your exact place? Is there embedded metadata with GPS? If so I can't find it. Or is it only that the location is potentially recognizable? $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    May 27 at 17:51
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    $\begingroup$ @uhoh the place is arguably recognizable, but I was referring to the link I provided to the online planetarium. I embedded the location and time there intentionally. $\endgroup$
    – ndnenkov
    May 27 at 19:20
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    $\begingroup$ @ndnenkov Sorry for giving you the impression that the question is not of general interest - given the discussion here and the nice answer, this is indeed a frequent question which deserves an answer - even if it might be somewhat duplicate to an existing question. $\endgroup$
    – B--rian
    Jun 8 at 19:15

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