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North Yorkshire - Iridium Flares


Tyneside, UK
2015 Jul 30
Thursday, Day 211

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For schools, clubs and societies - space exploration and history






Iridium Flares
Pick the Closest:















Astronomy in Yorkshire:


Very Much an "Identified Flying Object"

Occasionally something in the sky will catch your eye, like a slowly moving light that gets very bright and then fades away, all in the space of about five seconds. The chances are that you have spotted one of the sixty or so "Iridium" satellites in orbit.

iridium panelIridiums are fitted with a large, flat and highly polished panel behind behind each of their three aerials. They can occasionally produce glints that nearly rival the Full Moon in brightness.

Because of the very controlled way in which way the satellites orient themselves in space, Iridium 'flares' are highly predictable. Those in the know can wait for them and can be looking in the right direction when they occur.

The table tells you which direction to look and the maximum brightness (Visual Magnitude) to expect. The more negative the figure, the brighter it will be. For comparison, the brightest stars in the Sky are magnitude -1, Venus at its most brilliant is -4 and a Full Moon is -11.

Sometimes the flare will be a little brighter or dimmer than expected because of minor deviations in the satellite's orientation.


All Locations

One thing you can do is see how different the same flare appears from a location a few miles away. It might be dimmer, brighter, and it might happen a few seconds earlier or later as the satellite travels round its orbit. It takes nearly 15 seconds for a flare event to travel across Yorkshire.

Times are local UK so will show Summer Time when it is in force.

Date Location Iridium
Number
Time
BST
Visual
Mag
Azimuth Elevation Reflector
July 29, WedYork 97 22:19:31
-4
348° (NNW)
14°
LH aerial
Sutton Bank 97 22:19:31
-2
348° (NNW)
14°
LH aerial
Malton 97 22:19:36
-6
348° (NNW)
14°
LH aerial
Dalby Forest 97 22:19:38
-6
348° (NNW)
14°
LH aerial
Scarborough 97 22:19:42
-3
348° (NNW)
13°
LH aerial
Whitby 97 22:19:41
-6
348° (NNW)
14°
LH aerial
Bridlington 97 22:19:44
-2
348° (NNW)
13°
LH aerial
York 37 23:10:46
-1
292° (WNW)
15°
Middle aerial
Malton 37 23:10:51
-1
292° (WNW)
15°
Middle aerial
Sutton Bank 37 23:10:51
-1
292° (WNW)
16°
Middle aerial
Bridlington 37 23:10:53
-3
293° (WNW)
15°
Middle aerial
Dalby Forest 37 23:10:54
-2
292° (WNW)
15°
Middle aerial
Scarborough 37 23:10:56
-2
293° (WNW)
15°
Middle aerial
Whitby 37 23:10:59
-1
293° (WNW)
16°
Middle aerial
York 61 23:20:05
-3
294° (WNW)
13°
Middle aerial
Malton 61 23:20:10
-2
295° (WNW)
13°
Middle aerial
Sutton Bank 61 23:20:10
-4
294° (WNW)
14°
Middle aerial
Bridlington 61 23:20:13
-1
295° (WNW)
13°
Middle aerial
Dalby Forest 61 23:20:14
-2
295° (WNW)
13°
Middle aerial
Scarborough 61 23:20:15
-2
295° (WNW)
13°
Middle aerial
Whitby 61 23:20:18
-2
295° (WNW)
13°
Middle aerial
Bridlington 84 23:59:37
-2
244° (WSW)
40°
Middle aerial
York 84 23:59:36
-3
242° (WSW)
42°
Middle aerial
Malton 84 23:59:39
-7
243° (WSW)
42°
Middle aerial
Scarborough 84 23:59:42
-3
244° (WSW)
41°
Middle aerial
Dalby Forest 84 23:59:42
-7
243° (WSW)
42°
Middle aerial
Sutton Bank 84 23:59:43
-2
242° (WSW)
43°
Middle aerial
Whitby 84 23:59:47
-6
244° (WSW)
42°
Middle aerial
July 30, ThuYork 39 01:35:35
-2
189° (S)
53°
Middle aerial
Malton 39 01:35:39
-1
192° (SSW)
53°
Middle aerial
Sutton Bank 39 01:35:41
-4
188° (S)
54°
Middle aerial
Dalby Forest 39 01:35:41
-1
192° (SSW)
53°
Middle aerial
Bridlington 63 02:57:45
-1
301° (WNW)
42°
LH aerial
Whitby 21 03:02:31
-3
301° (WNW)
39°
LH aerial
Scarborough 21 03:02:35
-2
301° (WNW)
39°
LH aerial
Dalby Forest 21 03:02:35
-4
301° (WNW)
39°
LH aerial
Bridlington 21 03:02:37
-1
301° (WNW)
38°
LH aerial
Malton 21 03:02:38
-6
301° (WNW)
40°
LH aerial
York 21 03:02:43
-3
301° (WNW)
40°
LH aerial
Whitby 3 04:39:49
-2
261° (W)
72°
LH aerial
Scarborough 3 04:39:52
-3
262° (W)
71°
LH aerial
Dalby Forest 3 04:39:52
-1
261° (W)
72°
LH aerial
Malton 3 04:39:55
-1
260° (W)
73°
LH aerial
Bridlington 3 04:39:56
-9
262° (W)
70°
LH aerial
Malton 6 22:03:45
-1
348° (NNW)
17°
LH aerial
Dalby Forest 6 22:03:48
-1
348° (NNW)
17°
LH aerial
Whitby 6 22:03:50
-1
348° (NNW)
18°
LH aerial
Scarborough 6 22:03:51
-1
348° (NNW)
17°
LH aerial
Bridlington 6 22:03:52
-3
348° (NNW)
17°
LH aerial
Sutton Bank 7 22:13:29
-1
348° (NNW)
15°
LH aerial
Bridlington 35 23:14:15
-1
296° (WNW)
13°
Middle aerial
Scarborough 35 23:14:17
-1
296° (WNW)
13°
Middle aerial
York 97 23:23:19
-6
297° (WNW)
12°
Middle aerial
Sutton Bank 97 23:23:24
-4
297° (WNW)
12°
Middle aerial
Malton 97 23:23:25
-6
298° (WNW)
12°
Middle aerial
Bridlington 97 23:23:27
-4
298° (WNW)
11°
Middle aerial
Dalby Forest 97 23:23:28
-7
298° (WNW)
12°
Middle aerial
Scarborough 97 23:23:30
-5
298° (WNW)
11°
Middle aerial
Whitby 97 23:23:33
-6
298° (WNW)
12°
Middle aerial
Sutton Bank 5 23:32:45
-1
300° (WNW)
10°
Middle aerial
Whitby 5 23:32:53
-1
301° (WNW)
10°
Middle aerial
Bridlington 12 23:53:35
-5
244° (WSW)
41°
Middle aerial
Malton 12 23:53:38
-1
243° (WSW)
43°
Middle aerial
Scarborough 12 23:53:40
-2
244° (WSW)
42°
Middle aerial
Dalby Forest 12 23:53:41
-1
244° (WSW)
43°
Middle aerial
Whitby 12 23:53:45
-1
244° (WSW)
43°
Middle aerial
July 31, FriYork 15 01:29:29
-4
191° (S)
53°
Middle aerial
Malton 15 01:29:33
-2
193° (SSW)
53°
Middle aerial
Dalby Forest 15 01:29:36
-1
194° (SSW)
53°
Middle aerial
Sutton Bank 15 01:29:35
-8
190° (S)
53°
Middle aerial
Whitby 15 01:29:40
-1
195° (SSW)
53°
Middle aerial
Whitby 70 02:56:26
-2
303° (WNW)
40°
LH aerial
Scarborough 70 02:56:30
-3
302° (WNW)
39°
LH aerial
Dalby Forest 70 02:56:30
-2
302° (WNW)
40°
LH aerial
Bridlington 70 02:56:33
-5
302° (WNW)
39°
LH aerial
Malton 70 02:56:33
-1
302° (WNW)
40°
LH aerial
Whitby 76 04:33:43
-1
264° (W)
71°
LH aerial
Scarborough 76 04:33:47
-2
264° (W)
70°
LH aerial
Dalby Forest 76 04:33:47
-1
263° (W)
72°
LH aerial
Bridlington 76 04:33:50
-3
265° (W)
69°
LH aerial
Bridlington 86 23:47:34
-1
246° (WSW)
41°
Middle aerial
Scarborough 86 23:47:39
-1
246° (WSW)
42°
Middle aerial
York 50 23:56:35
-2
247° (WSW)
38°
Middle aerial
Malton 50 23:56:39
-1
248° (WSW)
37°
Middle aerial
Dalby Forest 50 23:56:42
-1
248° (WSW)
37°
Middle aerial
Sutton Bank 50 23:56:42
-3
247° (WSW)
39°
Middle aerial
Whitby 50 23:56:46
-1
248° (WSW)
37°
Middle aerial
August 1, SatYork 41 01:23:24
-2
189° (S)
53°
Middle aerial
Bridlington 41 01:23:27
-2
196° (SSW)
52°
Middle aerial
Malton 41 01:23:28
-4
191° (S)
53°
Middle aerial
Scarborough 41 01:23:31
-3
194° (SSW)
53°
Middle aerial
Sutton Bank 41 01:23:30
-1
188° (S)
53°
Middle aerial
Dalby Forest 41 01:23:31
-7
192° (SSW)
53°
Middle aerial
Whitby 41 01:23:35
-9
193° (SSW)
53°
Middle aerial
Scarborough 64 02:50:22
-1
304° (NW)
39°
LH aerial
Bridlington 64 02:50:25
-2
303° (WNW)
38°
LH aerial
Sutton Bank 65 02:59:24
-1
303° (WNW)
35°
LH aerial
York 65 02:59:29
-1
303° (WNW)
34°
LH aerial
Bridlington 61 21:42:07
-1
347° (NNW)
22°
LH aerial
Bridlington 53 23:50:34
-1
249° (WSW)
36°
Middle aerial
York 53 23:50:33
-4
247° (WSW)
39°
Middle aerial
Malton 53 23:50:37
-7
248° (WSW)
38°
Middle aerial
Scarborough 53 23:50:39
-3
249° (WSW)
37°
Middle aerial
Dalby Forest 53 23:50:40
-5
249° (WSW)
38°
Middle aerial
Sutton Bank 53 23:50:40
-3
248° (WSW)
39°
Middle aerial
Whitby 53 23:50:43
-4
248° (WSW)
38°
Middle aerial
August 2, SunWhitby 68 02:53:12
-1
305° (NW)
34°
LH aerial
Scarborough 68 02:53:15
-1
304° (NW)
33°
LH aerial
Dalby Forest 68 02:53:16
-1
304° (NW)
34°
LH aerial
Sutton Bank 68 02:53:18
-5
305° (NW)
35°
LH aerial
Malton 68 02:53:19
-2
304° (NW)
34°
LH aerial
York 68 02:53:24
-4
304° (NW)
35°
LH aerial
Sutton Bank 63 02:56:39
-1
304° (NW)
34°
LH aerial
York 63 02:56:44
-1
304° (NW)
33°
LH aerial
Whitby 11 04:30:42
-1
269° (W)
63°
LH aerial
Dalby Forest 11 04:30:45
-1
269° (W)
63°
LH aerial
Sutton Bank 11 04:30:46
-5
268° (W)
65°
LH aerial
Malton 11 04:30:48
-1
268° (W)
63°
LH aerial
York 11 04:30:51
-4
268° (W)
65°
LH aerial
York 35 21:35:47
-1
346° (NNW)
24°
LH aerial
Malton 35 21:35:52
-3
346° (NNW)
23°
LH aerial
Dalby Forest 35 21:35:55
-3
346° (NNW)
23°
LH aerial
Bridlington 35 21:35:58
-2
346° (NNW)
22°
LH aerial
Scarborough 35 21:35:58
-6
346° (NNW)
23°
LH aerial
Whitby 35 21:35:58
-3
346° (NNW)
23°
LH aerial
York 54 23:44:32
-1
248° (WSW)
39°
Middle aerial
Bridlington 54 23:44:33
-6
250° (WSW)
37°
Middle aerial
Malton 54 23:44:36
-1
249° (WSW)
39°
Middle aerial
Scarborough 54 23:44:38
-3
250° (WSW)
38°
Middle aerial
Dalby Forest 54 23:44:38
-2
249° (WSW)
39°
Middle aerial
Whitby 54 23:44:43
-2
250° (WSW)
39°
Middle aerial
August 3, MonBridlington 80 01:11:16
-1
193° (SSW)
52°
Middle aerial
Whitby 75 02:47:05
-8
306° (NW)
34°
LH aerial
Scarborough 75 02:47:08
-4
306° (NW)
33°
LH aerial
Dalby Forest 75 02:47:09
-6
306° (NW)
34°
LH aerial
Bridlington 75 02:47:11
-3
305° (NW)
33°
LH aerial
Malton 75 02:47:12
-4
306° (NW)
34°
LH aerial
Sutton Bank 75 02:47:12
-1
306° (NW)
35°
LH aerial
York 75 02:47:17
-2
305° (NW)
35°
LH aerial

The data for these predictions are provided by Simone Corbellini, a mathematician and satellite observer who lives in Italy. His own website covers satellite observing and flares in more depth. You can get there from the left hand menu.

Copyright © Robert Christy, all rights reserved
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited