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North Yorkshire - Iridium Flares


Scarborough, UK
2014 Jul 31
Thursday, Day 212

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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
July 30, WedWhitby 43 22:23:35
-1
43° (NE)
47°
RH aerial
Dalby Forest 43 22:23:38
-2
43° (NE)
47°
RH aerial
Sutton Bank 43 22:23:37
-6
44° (NE)
45°
RH aerial
Scarborough 43 22:23:39
-1
43° (NE)
47°
RH aerial
Malton 43 22:23:40
-2
44° (NE)
46°
RH aerial
York 43 22:23:43
-6
45° (NE)
45°
RH aerial
July 31, ThuBridlington 67 01:08:57
-6
201° (SSW)
52°
Middle aerial
Malton 67 01:08:59
-1
197° (SSW)
53°
Middle aerial
Scarborough 67 01:09:02
-3
200° (SSW)
53°
Middle aerial
Dalby Forest 67 01:09:02
-2
198° (SSW)
53°
Middle aerial
Whitby 67 01:09:06
-2
198° (SSW)
53°
Middle aerial
York 49 02:45:14
-2
139° (SE)
47°
Middle aerial
Bridlington 49 02:45:20
-2
143° (SE)
50°
Middle aerial
Malton 49 02:45:19
-4
140° (SE)
48°
Middle aerial
Sutton Bank 49 02:45:19
-1
139° (SE)
47°
Middle aerial
Scarborough 49 02:45:23
-4
142° (SE)
50°
Middle aerial
Dalby Forest 49 02:45:22
-6
141° (SE)
49°
Middle aerial
Whitby 49 02:45:27
-8
140° (SE)
49°
Middle aerial
Bridlington 91 04:04:04
-2
92° (E)
27°
Middle aerial
Scarborough 91 04:04:08
-1
91° (E)
26°
Middle aerial
Dalby Forest 91 04:04:08
-1
91° (E)
26°
Middle aerial
Whitby 91 04:04:12
-1
91° (E)
26°
Middle aerial
York 57 04:13:06
-1
94° (E)
30°
Middle aerial
Sutton Bank 57 04:13:13
-1
93° (E)
30°
Middle aerial
Whitby 40 22:17:36
-3
45° (NE)
48°
RH aerial
Dalby Forest 40 22:17:39
-4
45° (NE)
47°
RH aerial
Sutton Bank 40 22:17:38
-2
46° (NE)
46°
RH aerial
Scarborough 40 22:17:40
-2
45° (NE)
48°
RH aerial
Malton 40 22:17:41
-6
45° (NE)
47°
RH aerial
Bridlington 40 22:17:44
-1
44° (NE)
49°
RH aerial
York 40 22:17:44
-3
47° (NE)
46°
RH aerial
August 1, FriBridlington 72 01:02:55
-2
201° (SSW)
52°
Middle aerial
Scarborough 72 01:02:59
-1
199° (SSW)
53°
Middle aerial
Sutton Bank 75 01:12:03
-1
208° (SSW)
50°
Middle aerial
Bridlington 22 02:39:11
-2
141° (SE)
47°
Middle aerial
Scarborough 22 02:39:14
-1
140° (SE)
47°
Middle aerial
York 60 04:06:58
-4
96° (E)
30°
Middle aerial
Malton 60 04:07:02
-2
96° (E)
30°
Middle aerial
Sutton Bank 60 04:07:04
-4
95° (E)
30°
Middle aerial
Scarborough 60 04:07:05
-1
96° (E)
31°
Middle aerial
Dalby Forest 60 04:07:05
-1
96° (E)
31°
Middle aerial
Whitby 60 04:07:09
-1
96° (E)
31°
Middle aerial
Whitby 77 22:11:35
-8
47° (NE)
49°
RH aerial
Sutton Bank 77 22:11:37
-1
48° (NE)
47°
RH aerial
Scarborough 77 22:11:39
-4
47° (NE)
49°
RH aerial
Dalby Forest 77 22:11:38
-6
47° (NE)
48°
RH aerial
Malton 77 22:11:40
-4
47° (NE)
48°
RH aerial
Bridlington 77 22:11:43
-2
46° (NE)
49°
RH aerial
York 77 22:11:43
-1
48° (NE)
47°
RH aerial
August 2, SatYork 63 01:05:54
-2
207° (SSW)
50°
Middle aerial
Malton 63 01:05:57
-1
209° (SSW)
49°
Middle aerial
Dalby Forest 63 01:06:00
-1
210° (SSW)
49°
Middle aerial
Sutton Bank 63 01:06:00
-4
206° (SSW)
51°
Middle aerial
Whitby 63 01:06:03
-1
210° (SSW)
49°
Middle aerial
Bridlington 25 02:33:04
-2
144° (SE)
48°
Middle aerial
Scarborough 25 02:33:07
-1
143° (SE)
47°
Middle aerial
Whitby 82 22:05:31
-1
49° (NE)
47°
RH aerial
Dalby Forest 82 22:05:34
-1
49° (NE)
47°
RH aerial
Scarborough 82 22:05:35
-2
49° (NE)
48°
RH aerial
Bridlington 82 22:05:39
-3
49° (NE)
48°
RH aerial
August 3, SunYork 66 00:59:49
-5
209° (SSW)
49°
Middle aerial
Malton 66 00:59:53
-2
211° (SSW)
49°
Middle aerial
Scarborough 66 00:59:55
-1
213° (SSW)
48°
Middle aerial
Dalby Forest 66 00:59:55
-2
211° (SSW)
49°
Middle aerial
Sutton Bank 66 00:59:56
-7
208° (SSW)
50°
Middle aerial
Whitby 66 01:00:00
-1
212° (SSW)
49°
Middle aerial
York 20 02:36:07
-1
152° (SSE)
51°
Middle aerial
Sutton Bank 20 02:36:12
-2
151° (SSE)
50°
Middle aerial
Bridlington 32 03:54:43
-4
99° (E)
30°
Middle aerial
Malton 32 03:54:44
-1
99° (E)
29°
Middle aerial
Scarborough 32 03:54:47
-2
99° (E)
30°
Middle aerial
Dalby Forest 32 03:54:47
-1
99° (E)
30°
Middle aerial
Whitby 32 03:54:51
-2
99° (E)
30°
Middle aerial
York 91 04:03:52
-1
100° (E)
32°
Middle aerial
Sutton Bank 91 04:03:58
-1
99° (E)
32°
Middle aerial
Bridlington 18 21:59:39
-1
51° (NE)
49°
RH aerial
Sutton Bank 42 22:08:49
-1
49° (NE)
53°
RH aerial
August 4, MonBridlington 21 00:53:47
-2
212° (SSW)
48°
Middle aerial
York 21 00:53:46
-1
207° (SSW)
50°
Middle aerial
Malton 21 00:53:49
-3
209° (SSW)
50°
Middle aerial
Scarborough 21 00:53:52
-5
211° (SSW)
49°
Middle aerial
Dalby Forest 21 00:53:52
-4
210° (SSW)
50°
Middle aerial
Sutton Bank 21 00:53:52
-1
206° (SSW)
51°
Middle aerial
Whitby 21 00:53:56
-5
210° (SSW)
50°
Middle aerial
York 3 02:29:58
-4
150° (SSE)
49°
Middle aerial
Malton 3 02:30:03
-4
152° (SSE)
50°
Middle aerial
Bridlington 3 02:30:04
-1
155° (SSE)
51°
Middle aerial
Sutton Bank 3 02:30:04
-3
149° (SSE)
49°
Middle aerial
Scarborough 3 02:30:07
-1
154° (SSE)
51°
Middle aerial
Dalby Forest 3 02:30:07
-3
152° (SSE)
50°
Middle aerial
Whitby 3 02:30:11
-3
152° (SSE)
51°
Middle aerial
York 45 02:52:17
-4
136° (SE)
46°
Middle aerial
Malton 45 02:52:22
-2
137° (SE)
47°
Middle aerial
Sutton Bank 45 02:52:23
-6
135° (SE)
46°
Middle aerial
Dalby Forest 45 02:52:26
-1
137° (SE)
48°
Middle aerial
Whitby 45 02:52:30
-1
137° (SE)
48°
Middle aerial
York 59 03:57:42
-3
102° (ESE)
32°
Middle aerial
Malton 59 03:57:46
-2
102° (ESE)
33°
Middle aerial
Sutton Bank 59 03:57:47
-4
102° (ESE)
32°
Middle aerial
Scarborough 59 03:57:49
-1
102° (ESE)
34°
Middle aerial
Dalby Forest 59 03:57:49
-1
102° (ESE)
33°
Middle aerial
Whitby 59 03:57:53
-1
102° (ESE)
34°
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