Zarya - Soviet, Russian and International Spaceflight
carousel image
 
North Yorkshire - Iridium Flares


Tyneside, UK
2015 May 27
Wednesday, Day 147

Maintained by:




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
May 26, TueDalby Forest 66 21:50:33
-1
345° (NNW)
19°
LH aerial
Scarborough 66 21:50:36
-1
345° (NNW)
18°
LH aerial
Bridlington 66 21:50:37
-3
345° (NNW)
18°
LH aerial
Sutton Bank 67 21:59:58
-1
345° (NNW)
16°
LH aerial
Bridlington 62 22:52:04
-1
298° (WNW)
15°
Middle aerial
Scarborough 62 22:52:06
-1
298° (WNW)
15°
Middle aerial
Sutton Bank 64 23:10:46
-1
302° (WNW)
12°
Middle aerial
York 11 23:40:34
-1
247° (WSW)
45°
Middle aerial
Bridlington 11 23:40:36
-5
249° (WSW)
43°
Middle aerial
Malton 11 23:40:38
-2
248° (WSW)
45°
Middle aerial
Scarborough 11 23:40:40
-5
249° (WSW)
44°
Middle aerial
Dalby Forest 11 23:40:41
-2
248° (WSW)
45°
Middle aerial
Whitby 11 23:40:45
-2
249° (WSW)
45°
Middle aerial
May 27, WedYork 59 01:16:28
-4
192° (SSW)
57°
Middle aerial
Malton 59 01:16:32
-4
194° (SSW)
57°
Middle aerial
Scarborough 59 01:16:35
-1
197° (SSW)
57°
Middle aerial
Dalby Forest 59 01:16:34
-3
195° (SSW)
57°
Middle aerial
Sutton Bank 59 01:16:34
-3
190° (S)
57°
Middle aerial
Whitby 59 01:16:39
-2
196° (SSW)
57°
Middle aerial
Bridlington 54 04:11:46
-3
85° (E)
28°
Middle aerial
York 54 04:11:45
-2
84° (E)
26°
Middle aerial
Malton 54 04:11:48
-3
84° (E)
27°
Middle aerial
Scarborough 54 04:11:51
-5
84° (E)
27°
Middle aerial
Dalby Forest 54 04:11:51
-5
84° (E)
27°
Middle aerial
Sutton Bank 54 04:11:51
-2
84° (E)
26°
Middle aerial
Whitby 54 04:11:55
-8
84° (E)
27°
Middle aerial
York 21 21:44:13
-1
344° (NNW)
20°
LH aerial
Malton 21 21:44:18
-2
344° (NNW)
20°
LH aerial
Dalby Forest 21 21:44:21
-2
344° (NNW)
20°
LH aerial
Whitby 21 21:44:23
-2
344° (NNW)
20°
LH aerial
Bridlington 21 21:44:24
-3
344° (NNW)
19°
LH aerial
Scarborough 21 21:44:24
-5
344° (NNW)
20°
LH aerial
York 67 23:04:41
-3
303° (WNW)
11°
Middle aerial
Sutton Bank 67 23:04:46
-2
304° (NW)
12°
Middle aerial
Malton 67 23:04:47
-3
304° (NW)
11°
Middle aerial
Dalby Forest 67 23:04:50
-3
304° (NW)
11°
Middle aerial
Bridlington 67 23:04:51
-5
305° (NW)
11°
Middle aerial
Scarborough 67 23:04:52
-3
305° (NW)
11°
Middle aerial
Whitby 67 23:04:55
-2
305° (NW)
12°
Middle aerial
Sutton Bank 68 23:14:12
-3
306° (NW)
10°
Middle aerial
May 28, ThuYork 95 01:10:24
-1
189° (S)
57°
Middle aerial
Bridlington 95 01:10:27
-3
197° (SSW)
57°
Middle aerial
Malton 95 01:10:28
-2
192° (SSW)
57°
Middle aerial
Scarborough 95 01:10:31
-6
195° (SSW)
57°
Middle aerial
Dalby Forest 95 01:10:31
-2
193° (SSW)
58°
Middle aerial
Whitby 95 01:10:35
-3
193° (SSW)
58°
Middle aerial
York 19 02:46:46
-1
131° (SE)
49°
Middle aerial
Bridlington 19 02:46:52
-2
135° (SE)
53°
Middle aerial
Malton 19 02:46:51
-3
132° (SE)
51°
Middle aerial
Sutton Bank 19 02:46:52
-1
130° (SE)
49°
Middle aerial
Scarborough 19 02:46:55
-4
133° (SE)
52°
Middle aerial
Dalby Forest 19 02:46:54
-5
132° (SE)
51°
Middle aerial
Whitby 19 02:46:58
-7
133° (SE)
51°
Middle aerial
Bridlington 83 04:05:38
-2
86° (E)
28°
Middle aerial
Scarborough 83 04:05:42
-1
86° (E)
27°
Middle aerial
Whitby 83 04:05:46
-1
86° (E)
27°
Middle aerial
York 86 04:14:41
-1
88° (E)
31°
Middle aerial
Sutton Bank 86 04:14:47
-1
88° (E)
31°
Middle aerial
York 70 21:37:58
-2
343° (NNW)
22°
LH aerial
Sutton Bank 70 21:38:00
-1
344° (NNW)
22°
LH aerial
Malton 70 21:38:04
-4
344° (NNW)
21°
LH aerial
Dalby Forest 70 21:38:06
-4
343° (NNW)
21°
LH aerial
Scarborough 70 21:38:09
-5
343° (NNW)
21°
LH aerial
Whitby 70 21:38:09
-4
344° (NNW)
21°
LH aerial
Bridlington 70 21:38:10
-2
343° (NNW)
20°
LH aerial
York 46 23:37:37
-3
253° (WSW)
41°
Middle aerial
Malton 46 23:37:41
-2
254° (WSW)
40°
Middle aerial
Scarborough 46 23:37:43
-1
254° (WSW)
40°
Middle aerial
Dalby Forest 46 23:37:43
-1
254° (WSW)
40°
Middle aerial
Sutton Bank 46 23:37:43
-6
253° (WSW)
42°
Middle aerial
Whitby 46 23:37:48
-1
254° (WSW)
40°
Middle aerial
May 29, FriBridlington 30 01:04:24
-9
199° (SSW)
57°
Middle aerial
Malton 30 01:04:25
-1
194° (SSW)
58°
Middle aerial
Scarborough 30 01:04:28
-3
197° (SSW)
57°
Middle aerial
Dalby Forest 30 01:04:28
-1
195° (SSW)
58°
Middle aerial
Whitby 30 01:04:32
-1
195° (SSW)
58°
Middle aerial
Bridlington 97 02:40:45
-3
134° (SE)
51°
Middle aerial
Dalby Forest 97 02:40:47
-1
132° (SE)
50°
Middle aerial
Scarborough 97 02:40:48
-1
133° (SE)
51°
Middle aerial
Whitby 97 02:40:52
-1
132° (SE)
50°
Middle aerial
York 52 04:08:35
-3
89° (E)
29°
Middle aerial
Bridlington 52 04:08:38
-2
89° (E)
31°
Middle aerial
Malton 52 04:08:39
-8
89° (E)
30°
Middle aerial
Scarborough 52 04:08:42
-3
89° (E)
31°
Middle aerial
Dalby Forest 52 04:08:42
-5
88° (E)
30°
Middle aerial
Sutton Bank 52 04:08:41
-2
88° (E)
29°
Middle aerial
Whitby 52 04:08:46
-4
88° (E)
31°
Middle aerial
York 64 21:31:49
-1
342° (NNW)
22°
LH aerial
Sutton Bank 64 21:31:51
-3
343° (NNW)
23°
LH aerial
Malton 64 21:31:54
-1
342° (NNW)
22°
LH aerial
York 49 23:31:37
-8
255° (WSW)
40°
Middle aerial
Bridlington 49 23:31:39
-1
257° (WSW)
38°
Middle aerial
Malton 49 23:31:41
-3
256° (WSW)
40°
Middle aerial
Scarborough 49 23:31:43
-1
257° (WSW)
39°
Middle aerial
Dalby Forest 49 23:31:43
-3
256° (WSW)
40°
Middle aerial
Sutton Bank 49 23:31:43
-5
256° (WSW)
41°
Middle aerial
Whitby 49 23:31:48
-3
257° (WSW)
40°
Middle aerial
May 30, SatBridlington 57 00:58:21
-1
197° (SSW)
58°
Middle aerial
Sutton Bank 58 01:07:33
-1
207° (SSW)
56°
Middle aerial
Sutton Bank 8 02:43:53
-1
141° (SE)
55°
Middle aerial
Bridlington 10 04:02:27
-4
91° (E)
31°
Middle aerial
Malton 10 04:02:28
-1
90° (E)
30°
Middle aerial
Scarborough 10 04:02:31
-3
90° (E)
31°
Middle aerial
Dalby Forest 10 04:02:31
-1
90° (E)
31°
Middle aerial
Whitby 10 04:02:35
-2
90° (E)
31°
Middle aerial
Sutton Bank 54 04:11:41
-1
91° (E)
34°
Middle aerial
Scarborough 66 21:16:18
-1
342° (NNW)
26°
LH aerial
Bridlington 66 21:16:18
-2
342° (NNW)
26°
LH aerial
Bridlington 22 23:25:38
-6
257° (WSW)
40°
Middle aerial
Malton 22 23:25:40
-1
256° (WSW)
42°
Middle aerial
Scarborough 22 23:25:42
-3
257° (WSW)
41°
Middle aerial
Dalby Forest 22 23:25:42
-1
256° (WSW)
42°
Middle aerial
Whitby 22 23:25:47
-2
257° (WSW)
42°
Middle aerial
May 31, SunYork 55 01:01:21
-1
210° (SSW)
55°
Middle aerial
Sutton Bank 55 01:01:27
-1
209° (SSW)
56°
Middle aerial
York 61 02:37:41
-3
141° (SE)
54°
Middle aerial
Malton 61 02:37:46
-1
143° (SE)
56°
Middle aerial
Sutton Bank 61 02:37:47
-5
140° (SE)
54°
Middle aerial
Dalby Forest 61 02:37:49
-1
143° (SE)
56°
Middle aerial
Whitby 61 02:37:53
-1
143° (SE)
56°
Middle aerial
York 83 04:05:28
-3
93° (E)
34°
Middle aerial
Malton 83 04:05:32
-1
93° (E)
35°
Middle aerial
Dalby Forest 83 04:05:34
-1
93° (E)
35°
Middle aerial
Sutton Bank 83 04:05:34
-3
93° (E)
34°
Middle aerial
Whitby 83 04:05:38
-1
93° (E)
35°
Middle 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