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torqueofthedevil

Original Poster:

1,480 posts

63 months

[news] 
Monday 17th September 2012 quote quote all
Got all the times off heavens-above and had a look today but a little cloud in the sky.

Magnitude was -8 I think so how bright would that have been? There is another tomorrow which I think is -6 - is this going to be quite clear?

Having youtubed one they can be unbelievably clear but I guess that was a perfect on and a magnitude of -0.

If you are wondering what one is then google it but basically they are satellites which reflect light back to earth as they spin

cptsideways

10,748 posts

138 months

[news] 
Monday 17th September 2012 quote quote all
Yep, seen quite a few, some are cleary obvious others not so. I use ISS detector app on Anroid and it pings you when they are due, some are due tonight I think.

rxtx

4,797 posts

96 months

[news] 
Monday 17th September 2012 quote quote all
Did you mean -9 rather than -0? With magnitude the lower the number the brighter it is. A full moon is magnitude -12.6 and the faintest star the eye can see is around +6. -8/-6 will easily be visible but Iridium flares are directed, so the further out of the focus point you are, the dimmer it will be.

central

16,488 posts

103 months

[news] 
Monday 17th September 2012 quote quote all
yes

TackleburyUk

412 posts

76 months

[news] 
Tuesday 18th September 2012 quote quote all
There is also a good iphone / Ipad app for them.

Waited around for three so far and not seen a thing....

Feck.
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speedtwelve

2,912 posts

159 months

[news] 
Wednesday 19th September 2012 quote quote all
I've seen a few. First time was at 41000ft over the North Sea one winter night when I used to co-pilot a corporate jet. We had the cockpit lights turned down to give a better view of the stars when I saw what looked like a very bright landing light grow and fade over a few seconds. Problem was, we were already at Flight Level Nosebleed and whatever it was was seemed to be directly above... I now know it was an Iridium Flare (I also saw a tumbling polar-orbit satellite/spent booster on that trip).

Heavens Above website works very well if you double-check the times (i.e. not confusing local with GMT) and use your iPhone or whatever to check the predicted bearing and have an idea of what the elevation should look like. As long as the predicted flare is of a decent magnitude you should see it. If you are close to the centre of the reflected ground track they can be astonishingly bright for a few seconds. I've even seen a particularly bright one in broad daylight.

The Black Flash

5,694 posts

84 months

[news] 
Wednesday 19th September 2012 quote quote all
Seen several while stargazing, they're quite distinctive.

Grumpy old git

220 posts

73 months

[news] 
Friday 21st September 2012 quote quote all
I think this may be what I just saw in the night sky over Bristol?

It was low in the sky heading across the horizon in a southerly direction and was visible for at least 5 seconds. It looked like a firework but obviously wasn't, for second I thought it might be a plane on fire it was so bright, it faded out for a second and then reappeared.

Simpo Two

59,946 posts

151 months

[news] 
Saturday 22nd September 2012 quote quote all
Aha: www.heavens-above.com/iridiumhelp.asp

Not iridium burning then!

jmorgan

20,593 posts

170 months

[news] 
Saturday 22nd September 2012 quote quote all
Caught a few waiting for the ISS. So I start looking out for them now when ISS spotting.

torqueofthedevil

Original Poster:

1,480 posts

63 months

[news] 
Saturday 22nd September 2012 quote quote all
Is the iss as impressive? It's a massive coincidence just randomly spotting an iridium flare they are very rare really

jmorgan

20,593 posts

170 months

[news] 
Saturday 22nd September 2012 quote quote all
I think that catching the ISS, the shadow of the earth plays the same at a similar time with iridium? I go back and check with Starry Night and it shows several Iridium passing. Not always and not more than a few.

Thread on the ISS on here on PH.

MikeGTi

1,509 posts

87 months

[news] 
Wednesday 3rd October 2012 quote quote all
I've seen a fair few, as well as the ISS. It helps to have a good dark site to observe the sky from.
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