Who should I contact if I see an unknown object in the sky?

Should I contact the nearest observatory? Or is there some official place run by, say, NASA or ESA that take in observations in their member countries?

(Of course, the unknown object can be anything from a weather balloon reflecting the sun behind the horizon to a supernova.)

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I think this is appropriate here, although if the community disagrees I'll go along with that. $\endgroup$
    – David Z
    May 6, 2012 at 5:07
  • 7
    $\begingroup$ I’m voting to close this question because it is not about physics $\endgroup$
    – Dale
    Jul 7, 2021 at 14:05

2 Answers 2


If you are an experienced observer, and know what you are looking at, you can report it to the appropriate agency:

As an amateur observer, though, its more likely that you're seeing something that's already been discovered/reported. Investigate at:


There's a few things to consider.

First of all, does it move? If it does, it's almost certainly a satellite, airplane, or other man-made object, especially if one is observing close to sunrise/sunset. So, I wouldn't bother reporting or really doing anything with any of these.

Assuming it doesn't move, at least over a short timescale, then report them to the appropriate location that BradC mentioned in his answer.


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