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North Yorkshire - Iridium Flares


Tyneside, UK
2015 Apr 27
Monday, Day 117

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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
April 26, SunWhitby 40 21:17:15
-5
67° (ENE)
60°
RH aerial
Scarborough 40 21:17:19
-5
67° (ENE)
61°
RH aerial
Dalby Forest 40 21:17:19
-4
68° (ENE)
60°
RH aerial
Sutton Bank 40 21:17:19
-1
68° (ENE)
58°
RH aerial
Malton 40 21:17:21
-3
68° (ENE)
59°
RH aerial
Bridlington 40 21:17:23
-3
67° (ENE)
62°
RH aerial
York 40 21:17:24
-1
68° (ENE)
58°
RH aerial
April 27, MonDalby Forest 70 00:19:57
-1
228° (SW)
37°
Middle aerial
Sutton Bank 70 00:19:59
-3
227° (SW)
39°
Middle aerial
Whitby 70 00:20:02
-1
229° (SW)
37°
Middle aerial
York 55 03:14:16
-5
121° (ESE)
35°
Middle aerial
Malton 55 03:14:22
-5
121° (ESE)
36°
Middle aerial
Bridlington 55 03:14:23
-1
122° (ESE)
37°
Middle aerial
Sutton Bank 55 03:14:22
-4
120° (ESE)
35°
Middle aerial
Dalby Forest 55 03:14:25
-3
121° (ESE)
36°
Middle aerial
Scarborough 55 03:14:26
-2
122° (ESE)
37°
Middle aerial
Whitby 55 03:14:30
-3
121° (ESE)
36°
Middle aerial
Bridlington 35 05:21:59
-2
29° (NNE)
24°
RH aerial
Scarborough 35 05:22:04
-1
29° (NNE)
24°
RH aerial
York 97 05:30:53
-1
29° (NNE)
27°
RH aerial
Sutton Bank 97 05:30:59
-1
29° (NNE)
26°
RH aerial
Whitby 77 21:11:14
-4
68° (ENE)
62°
RH aerial
Scarborough 77 21:11:16
-6
68° (ENE)
63°
RH aerial
Dalby Forest 77 21:11:16
-3
69° (ENE)
62°
RH aerial
Sutton Bank 77 21:11:16
-1
69° (ENE)
60°
RH aerial
Malton 77 21:11:20
-2
69° (ENE)
61°
RH aerial
Bridlington 77 21:11:22
-3
68° (ENE)
64°
RH aerial
York 77 21:11:22
-1
70° (ENE)
60°
RH aerial
April 28, TueYork 64 00:13:53
-5
229° (SW)
39°
Middle aerial
Malton 64 00:13:55
-2
230° (SW)
38°
Middle aerial
Scarborough 64 00:13:56
-1
231° (SW)
37°
Middle aerial
Dalby Forest 64 00:13:58
-2
230° (SW)
38°
Middle aerial
Sutton Bank 64 00:14:00
-7
229° (SW)
39°
Middle aerial
Whitby 64 00:14:03
-2
231° (SW)
38°
Middle aerial
York 45 02:59:01
-8
127° (SE)
38°
Middle aerial
Malton 45 02:59:06
-3
128° (SE)
39°
Middle aerial
Sutton Bank 45 02:59:07
-6
127° (SE)
38°
Middle aerial
Dalby Forest 45 02:59:09
-2
128° (SE)
39°
Middle aerial
Scarborough 45 02:59:11
-1
128° (SE)
40°
Middle aerial
Whitby 45 02:59:14
-2
128° (SE)
40°
Middle aerial
York 31 03:08:10
-1
121° (ESE)
34°
Middle aerial
Malton 31 03:08:15
-1
122° (ESE)
35°
Middle aerial
Bridlington 31 03:08:17
-6
122° (ESE)
36°
Middle aerial
Dalby Forest 31 03:08:19
-2
121° (ESE)
35°
Middle aerial
Scarborough 31 03:08:20
-3
122° (ESE)
36°
Middle aerial
Whitby 31 03:08:23
-2
121° (ESE)
35°
Middle aerial
Bridlington 6 05:16:00
-6
29° (NNE)
23°
RH aerial
Scarborough 6 05:16:05
-3
29° (NNE)
23°
RH aerial
Malton 6 05:16:06
-1
29° (NNE)
22°
RH aerial
Dalby Forest 6 05:16:07
-1
29° (NNE)
22°
RH aerial
Whitby 6 05:16:09
-2
29° (NNE)
23°
RH aerial
Scarborough 82 21:05:13
-1
70° (ENE)
61°
RH aerial
Bridlington 82 21:05:17
-1
70° (ENE)
61°
RH aerial
April 29, WedBridlington 67 00:07:52
-2
232° (SW)
37°
Middle aerial
York 67 00:07:53
-3
230° (SW)
40°
Middle aerial
Malton 67 00:07:56
-6
231° (SW)
39°
Middle aerial
Scarborough 67 00:07:58
-3
232° (SW)
38°
Middle aerial
Dalby Forest 67 00:07:59
-9
232° (SW)
39°
Middle aerial
Sutton Bank 67 00:08:00
-2
230° (SW)
40°
Middle aerial
Whitby 67 00:08:03
-7
232° (SW)
39°
Middle aerial
York 29 03:08:25
-7
125° (SE)
37°
Middle aerial
Malton 29 03:08:30
-3
125° (SE)
38°
Middle aerial
Sutton Bank 29 03:08:30
-5
124° (SE)
37°
Middle aerial
Bridlington 29 03:08:32
-1
126° (SE)
40°
Middle aerial
Dalby Forest 29 03:08:33
-3
125° (SE)
39°
Middle aerial
Scarborough 29 03:08:34
-1
126° (SE)
39°
Middle aerial
Whitby 29 03:08:38
-2
125° (SE)
39°
Middle aerial
York 57 03:11:22
-2
125° (SE)
39°
Middle aerial
Malton 57 03:11:27
-1
126° (SE)
40°
Middle aerial
Sutton Bank 57 03:11:27
-2
125° (SE)
39°
Middle aerial
York 4 05:09:56
-1
28° (NNE)
21°
RH aerial
Sutton Bank 4 05:10:01
-2
28° (NNE)
21°
RH aerial
April 30, ThuBridlington 72 00:01:53
-9
234° (SW)
38°
Middle aerial
York 72 00:01:54
-1
232° (SW)
41°
Middle aerial
Malton 72 00:01:57
-2
233° (SW)
40°
Middle aerial
Scarborough 72 00:01:58
-4
233° (SW)
39°
Middle aerial
Dalby Forest 72 00:01:59
-2
233° (SW)
40°
Middle aerial
Whitby 72 00:02:04
-2
233° (SW)
40°
Middle aerial
Sutton Bank 63 00:10:26
-1
235° (SW)
36°
Middle aerial
York 60 03:05:15
-7
127° (SE)
39°
Middle aerial
Malton 60 03:05:20
-3
127° (SE)
40°
Middle aerial
Sutton Bank 60 03:05:21
-6
126° (SE)
39°
Middle aerial
Dalby Forest 60 03:05:24
-2
127° (SE)
40°
Middle aerial
Scarborough 60 03:05:25
-1
128° (SE)
41°
Middle aerial
Whitby 60 03:05:28
-2
127° (SE)
41°
Middle aerial
Bridlington 35 03:39:18
-6
73° (ENE)
10°
Middle aerial
Scarborough 35 03:39:23
-6
72° (ENE)
10°
Middle aerial
Dalby Forest 35 03:39:24
-5
72° (ENE)
10°
Middle aerial
Whitby 35 03:39:28
-6
72° (ENE)
10°
Middle aerial
York 97 03:48:17
-2
74° (ENE)
11°
Middle aerial
Malton 97 03:48:20
-1
74° (ENE)
12°
Middle aerial
Scarborough 97 03:48:21
-1
74° (ENE)
12°
Middle aerial
Dalby Forest 97 03:48:22
-1
74° (ENE)
12°
Middle aerial
Sutton Bank 97 03:48:23
-1
73° (ENE)
11°
Middle aerial
Whitby 97 03:48:26
-1
74° (ENE)
12°
Middle aerial
Bridlington 61 04:55:15
-1
28° (NNE)
18°
RH aerial
Scarborough 61 04:55:20
-1
28° (NNE)
18°
RH aerial
Whitby 80 21:02:16
-1
69° (ENE)
70°
RH aerial
Dalby Forest 80 21:02:20
-1
70° (ENE)
69°
RH aerial
Sutton Bank 80 21:02:20
-9
71° (ENE)
67°
RH aerial
Malton 80 21:02:22
-2
70° (ENE)
68°
RH aerial
York 80 21:02:25
-5
71° (ENE)
67°
RH aerial
Bridlington 62 23:55:55
-2
235° (SW)
40°
Middle aerial
Scarborough 62 23:56:00
-1
235° (SW)
41°
Middle aerial
May 1, FriBridlington 7 03:42:09
-2
75° (ENE)
12°
Middle aerial
York 7 03:42:10
-1
75° (ENE)
11°
Middle aerial
Malton 7 03:42:12
-1
75° (ENE)
11°
Middle aerial
Scarborough 7 03:42:14
-2
75° (ENE)
12°
Middle aerial
Dalby Forest 7 03:42:15
-1
75° (ENE)
12°
Middle aerial
Sutton Bank 7 03:42:16
-1
74° (ENE)
11°
Middle aerial
Whitby 7 03:42:19
-1
75° (ENE)
12°
Middle aerial
Bridlington 8 03:51:11
-2
78° (ENE)
14°
Middle aerial
York 8 03:51:11
-7
77° (ENE)
13°
Middle aerial
Malton 8 03:51:14
-4
77° (ENE)
14°
Middle aerial
Scarborough 8 03:51:16
-3
78° (ENE)
14°
Middle aerial
Dalby Forest 8 03:51:17
-3
77° (ENE)
14°
Middle aerial
Sutton Bank 8 03:51:17
-7
77° (ENE)
13°
Middle aerial
Whitby 8 03:51:21
-3
77° (ENE)
14°
Middle aerial
York 4 03:58:38
-1
80° (E)
16°
Middle aerial
Malton 4 03:58:41
-1
80° (E)
16°
Middle aerial
Sutton Bank 4 03:58:43
-1
80° (E)
16°
Middle aerial
Bridlington 35 04:49:19
-1
27° (NNE)
18°
RH aerial
Scarborough 35 04:49:23
-2
27° (NNE)
17°
RH aerial
Malton 35 04:49:25
-4
27° (NNE)
17°
RH aerial
Dalby Forest 35 04:49:26
-3
27° (NNE)
17°
RH aerial
Whitby 35 04:49:27
-2
27° (NNE)
17°
RH aerial
York 35 04:49:26
-4
27° (NNE)
16°
RH aerial
Sutton Bank 35 04:49:31
-4
27° (NNE)
16°
RH 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