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North Yorkshire - Iridium Flares


Scarborough, UK
2014 Oct 2
Thursday, Day 275

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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
October 1, WedScarborough 49 07:01:37
-1
71° (ENE)
19°
Middle aerial
Bridlington 75 19:07:28
-1
10° (N)
55°
LH aerial
October 2, ThuBridlington 39 05:27:30
-1
13° (NNE)
26°
RH aerial
Scarborough 39 05:27:35
-3
13° (NNE)
25°
RH aerial
Malton 39 05:27:36
-4
14° (NNE)
25°
RH aerial
Dalby Forest 39 05:27:37
-8
14° (NNE)
25°
RH aerial
Whitby 39 05:27:40
-5
14° (NNE)
25°
RH aerial
Whitby 66 06:25:19
-1
170° (S)
47°
LH aerial
Dalby Forest 66 06:25:23
-2
170° (S)
47°
LH aerial
Sutton Bank 66 06:25:23
-4
166° (SSE)
47°
LH aerial
Malton 66 06:25:25
-3
169° (S)
47°
LH aerial
York 66 06:25:28
-5
167° (SSE)
47°
LH aerial
Whitby 3 06:46:05
-6
67° (ENE)
16°
Middle aerial
Sutton Bank 3 06:46:07
-2
67° (ENE)
15°
Middle aerial
Scarborough 3 06:46:10
-6
67° (ENE)
16°
Middle aerial
Dalby Forest 3 06:46:09
-5
67° (ENE)
16°
Middle aerial
Malton 3 06:46:11
-4
67° (ENE)
16°
Middle aerial
York 3 06:46:13
-2
67° (ENE)
15°
Middle aerial
Bridlington 3 06:46:15
-5
68° (ENE)
16°
Middle aerial
Sutton Bank 22 06:55:25
-2
69° (ENE)
17°
Middle aerial
Dalby Forest 22 06:55:26
-1
69° (ENE)
18°
Middle aerial
Malton 22 06:55:28
-1
69° (ENE)
18°
Middle aerial
York 22 06:55:31
-2
69° (ENE)
17°
Middle aerial
October 3, FriMalton 15 05:21:45
-2
13° (NNE)
23°
RH aerial
York 15 05:21:45
-5
13° (NNE)
22°
RH aerial
Dalby Forest 15 05:21:46
-1
13° (NNE)
23°
RH aerial
Whitby 15 05:21:48
-1
13° (NNE)
23°
RH aerial
Sutton Bank 15 05:21:51
-8
13° (NNE)
22°
RH aerial
Whitby 21 06:19:16
-3
168° (SSE)
47°
LH aerial
Scarborough 21 06:19:19
-8
169° (S)
47°
LH aerial
Dalby Forest 21 06:19:20
-2
168° (SSE)
46°
LH aerial
Bridlington 21 06:19:22
-3
171° (S)
47°
LH aerial
Malton 21 06:19:22
-2
167° (SSE)
47°
LH aerial
Bridlington 66 18:55:11
-2
10° (N)
59°
LH aerial
Scarborough 66 18:55:14
-1
12° (NNE)
59°
LH aerial
October 4, SatDalby Forest 41 05:15:53
-1
12° (NNE)
21°
RH aerial
Malton 41 05:15:53
-2
12° (NNE)
21°
RH aerial
York 41 05:15:54
-4
13° (NNE)
20°
RH aerial
Whitby 41 05:15:55
-1
12° (NNE)
22°
RH aerial
Sutton Bank 41 05:16:00
-6
13° (NNE)
20°
RH aerial
Whitby 76 06:05:38
-3
56° (NE)
10°
Middle aerial
Dalby Forest 76 06:05:41
-2
57° (ENE)
10°
Middle aerial
Scarborough 76 06:05:43
-3
57° (ENE)
10°
Middle aerial
Bridlington 76 06:05:49
-3
57° (ENE)
10°
Middle aerial
Bridlington 70 06:13:19
-1
168° (SSE)
47°
LH aerial
Whitby 25 06:15:02
-1
59° (ENE)
12°
Middle aerial
Sutton Bank 25 06:15:03
-3
59° (ENE)
11°
Middle aerial
Scarborough 25 06:15:07
-1
60° (ENE)
12°
Middle aerial
Dalby Forest 25 06:15:06
-2
59° (ENE)
12°
Middle aerial
Malton 25 06:15:08
-2
59° (ENE)
12°
Middle aerial
York 25 06:15:09
-3
59° (ENE)
11°
Middle aerial
Bridlington 25 06:15:12
-1
60° (ENE)
12°
Middle aerial
Bridlington 21 18:49:04
-1
13° (NNE)
60°
LH aerial
York 25 21:04:57
-1
5° (N)
17°
LH aerial
Malton 25 21:05:04
-2
4° (N)
17°
LH aerial
Dalby Forest 25 21:05:08
-2
4° (N)
16°
LH aerial
Whitby 25 21:05:11
-2
4° (N)
16°
LH aerial
Scarborough 25 21:05:12
-4
4° (N)
16°
LH aerial
Bridlington 25 21:05:15
-4
4° (N)
15°
LH aerial
October 5, SunDalby Forest 42 05:09:38
-1
12° (NNE)
19°
RH aerial
Malton 42 05:09:38
-1
12° (NNE)
19°
RH aerial
York 42 05:09:39
-3
12° (NNE)
18°
RH aerial
Sutton Bank 42 05:09:45
-4
12° (NNE)
18°
RH aerial
Sutton Bank 65 06:16:21
-1
179° (S)
47°
LH aerial
York 47 20:58:37
-7
5° (N)
19°
LH aerial
Sutton Bank 47 20:58:40
-3
5° (N)
19°
LH aerial
Malton 47 20:58:44
-3
4° (N)
18°
LH aerial
Dalby Forest 47 20:58:47
-3
4° (N)
18°
LH aerial
Scarborough 47 20:58:51
-1
4° (N)
18°
LH aerial
Whitby 47 20:58:51
-3
4° (N)
18°
LH aerial
October 6, MonBridlington 39 04:55:33
-1
13° (NNE)
14°
RH aerial
Scarborough 39 04:55:39
-1
13° (NNE)
13°
RH aerial
York 80 05:04:16
-1
12° (NNE)
17°
RH aerial
Sutton Bank 80 05:04:20
-1
12° (NNE)
17°
RH aerial
Whitby 68 06:10:12
-1
181° (S)
47°
LH aerial
Dalby Forest 68 06:10:15
-1
180° (S)
47°
LH aerial
Sutton Bank 68 06:10:16
-7
177° (S)
47°
LH aerial
Malton 68 06:10:18
-2
180° (S)
47°
LH aerial
York 68 06:10:21
-5
177° (S)
47°
LH aerial
York 11 20:52:17
-7
5° (N)
21°
LH aerial
Sutton Bank 11 20:52:21
-3
6° (N)
21°
LH aerial
October 7, TueYork 15 04:49:58
-5
12° (NNE)
11°
RH aerial
Sutton Bank 15 04:50:03
-5
12° (NNE)
11°
RH aerial
Sutton Bank 75 06:04:12
-1
175° (S)
47°
LH aerial
York 75 06:04:17
-1
176° (S)
47°
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