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Iridium Flare?


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#1 SBacon

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 10:27 AM

I was taking some wide field shots Friday night of the Elephant Trunk Nebula area which I have never shot before.  Didn't really get a discernable shot of the thing but I realized I need more exposure time and a more sensitive camera for this jewel.  What I did get is what I think is an Iridium flare spaced over two pics.

 

When I plugged in the time of the shots and area of the sky into Stellarium, it indicates that the satellite Iridium 52 was passing really close to this region. The first pic is the Stellarium screen capture.  The second pic is two pics stitched together to give the total view. 

 

What is strange about this is that it seems to brighten then dim then brighten/dim again.  Everything I've read about Iridium flares is that they brighten and then dim due to reflecting solar light from their panels. I haven't seen anything that indicates a repeating pattern. I guess if this is one that had failed and was tumbling end over end it could generate this pattern.

 

Anyway, the shots were 4 minutes long with a 15 second interval between them.  The space between the one in the lower right corner is due to the shot interval.  According to the data from Stellarium this thing is 485 miles up in orbit.  Just thought this might be of interest.

 

Steve

Attached Thumbnails

  • Iridium Info.JPG
  • Flare 10-13-17.jpg

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#2 MistrBadgr

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 12:54 PM

Steve,

 

I have seen what I thought was a double flare before.  Not sure what the deal is with that.  Looks like you caught one in action! :)

 

Cool stuff!

 

Bill


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Bill Steen, Sky Hunters' Haven Observatory, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

#3 RickScofield

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Posted 17 October 2017 - 04:26 PM

Steve,
I think it’s amazing how bright these things are.
Thanks for sharing,
RickScofield
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#4 E Sully

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 09:44 AM

I wonder how hard it will be for imagers in the future with all the satellites being sent into orbit.  There is one artist I read about that intends to launch a highly reflective sculpture for arts sake  https://www.fastcode...it-orbits-earth

Russian engineers have a similar plan https://gizadeathsta...amid-satellite/

There has been a lot of complaints of light pollution from ground based lighting, and soon it will be space based issues. 

Seems mankind was born to leave clutter everywhere.



#5 MistrBadgr

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 01:50 PM

It is amazing the way people throw light around and would not think of it (hopefully) with their trash or sound.

 

I just went through another session in my addition of "Hey everyone, let's all turn on all of our outside lights all night long and scare away the boogie men!"

 

Bill


Bill Steen, Sky Hunters' Haven Observatory, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

#6 RickScofield

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 04:57 PM

Wow NORAD is already tracking way to much, there is said to be allot of small stuff in orbit that is too small to be tracked,items dropped by astronauts and pieces of space craft. Man leaves his mark everywhere he goes.




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