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North Yorkshire - Iridium Flares


Scarborough, UK
2014 Apr 20
Sunday, Day 110

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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
April 19, SatWhitby 63 21:29:57
-4
66° (ENE)
57°
RH aerial
Scarborough 63 21:30:01
-2
66° (ENE)
57°
RH aerial
Dalby Forest 63 21:30:01
-5
67° (ENE)
56°
RH aerial
Sutton Bank 63 21:30:01
-2
68° (ENE)
54°
RH aerial
Malton 63 21:30:03
-7
67° (ENE)
56°
RH aerial
Bridlington 63 21:30:05
-1
67° (ENE)
58°
RH aerial
York 63 21:30:06
-2
68° (ENE)
54°
RH aerial
York 82 21:48:20
-5
353° (N)
17°
LH aerial
Sutton Bank 82 21:48:20
-2
353° (N)
17°
LH aerial
Malton 82 21:48:26
-5
353° (N)
16°
LH aerial
Dalby Forest 82 21:48:28
-5
353° (N)
16°
LH aerial
Scarborough 82 21:48:32
-2
353° (N)
16°
LH aerial
Whitby 82 21:48:31
-5
353° (N)
17°
LH aerial
Bridlington 82 21:48:34
-1
353° (N)
15°
LH aerial
Whitby 45 22:54:37
-2
32° (NNE)
20°
RH aerial
Dalby Forest 45 22:54:40
-2
33° (NNE)
20°
RH aerial
Malton 45 22:54:41
-1
33° (NNE)
20°
RH aerial
York 45 22:54:41
-1
33° (NNE)
19°
RH aerial
Scarborough 45 22:54:43
-3
33° (NNE)
20°
RH aerial
Sutton Bank 25 22:54:49
-4
33° (NNE)
22°
RH aerial
Bridlington 45 22:54:49
-6
33° (NNE)
20°
RH aerial
Whitby 25 22:54:52
-1
33° (NNE)
23°
RH aerial
Dalby Forest 25 22:54:53
-1
33° (NNE)
23°
RH aerial
York 25 22:54:55
-3
33° (NNE)
22°
RH aerial
Scarborough 25 22:54:56
-1
34° (NE)
24°
RH aerial
Malton 25 22:54:56
-2
33° (NNE)
23°
RH aerial
April 20, SunWhitby 58 02:59:11
-1
294° (WNW)
37°
LH aerial
Scarborough 58 02:59:14
-2
294° (WNW)
36°
LH aerial
Dalby Forest 58 02:59:15
-1
294° (WNW)
37°
LH aerial
Bridlington 58 02:59:17
-3
294° (WNW)
36°
LH aerial
Malton 58 02:59:18
-1
293° (WNW)
37°
LH aerial
Sutton Bank 59 03:08:17
-1
294° (WNW)
33°
LH aerial
York 59 03:08:22
-1
294° (WNW)
32°
LH aerial
Whitby 8 04:36:29
-2
252° (WSW)
61°
LH aerial
Scarborough 8 04:36:33
-1
252° (WSW)
60°
LH aerial
Dalby Forest 8 04:36:33
-3
251° (WSW)
61°
LH aerial
Sutton Bank 8 04:36:33
-3
249° (WSW)
64°
LH aerial
Malton 8 04:36:35
-4
251° (WSW)
62°
LH aerial
Bridlington 8 04:36:37
-1
252° (WSW)
59°
LH aerial
York 8 04:36:38
-4
250° (WSW)
63°
LH aerial
Whitby 66 21:23:52
-7
68° (ENE)
58°
RH aerial
Scarborough 66 21:23:56
-4
68° (ENE)
58°
RH aerial
Dalby Forest 66 21:23:56
-5
69° (ENE)
57°
RH aerial
Sutton Bank 66 21:23:56
-1
69° (ENE)
55°
RH aerial
Malton 66 21:23:59
-3
69° (ENE)
57°
RH aerial
Bridlington 66 21:24:01
-2
68° (ENE)
59°
RH aerial
York 66 21:24:01
-1
69° (ENE)
55°
RH aerial
York 18 21:42:03
-2
352° (N)
18°
LH aerial
Sutton Bank 18 21:42:03
-3
352° (N)
19°
LH aerial
Malton 18 21:42:08
-1
352° (N)
18°
LH aerial
Dalby Forest 18 21:42:12
-1
352° (N)
18°
LH aerial
Whitby 18 21:42:14
-1
352° (N)
18°
LH aerial
Sutton Bank 47 22:48:51
-1
34° (NE)
23°
RH aerial
Whitby 47 22:48:52
-6
34° (NE)
24°
RH aerial
Dalby Forest 47 22:48:55
-5
34° (NE)
24°
RH aerial
Scarborough 47 22:48:57
-5
35° (NE)
24°
RH aerial
Malton 47 22:48:57
-3
35° (NE)
23°
RH aerial
York 47 22:48:57
-2
35° (NE)
23°
RH aerial
Bridlington 47 22:49:03
-3
35° (NE)
24°
RH aerial
April 21, MonWhitby 55 02:53:00
-1
296° (WNW)
36°
LH aerial
Scarborough 55 02:53:03
-1
296° (WNW)
35°
LH aerial
Dalby Forest 55 02:53:04
-1
296° (WNW)
36°
LH aerial
Bridlington 55 02:53:06
-2
296° (WNW)
35°
LH aerial
Whitby 95 03:02:03
-1
296° (WNW)
32°
LH aerial
Dalby Forest 95 03:02:06
-1
296° (WNW)
32°
LH aerial
Sutton Bank 95 03:02:08
-3
296° (WNW)
33°
LH aerial
Malton 95 03:02:10
-1
296° (WNW)
32°
LH aerial
York 95 03:02:13
-2
296° (WNW)
33°
LH aerial
Whitby 61 04:30:24
-7
253° (WSW)
63°
LH aerial
Scarborough 61 04:30:28
-5
253° (WSW)
62°
LH aerial
Dalby Forest 61 04:30:28
-4
252° (WSW)
63°
LH aerial
Sutton Bank 61 04:30:28
-1
251° (WSW)
65°
LH aerial
Malton 61 04:30:30
-3
252° (WSW)
63°
LH aerial
Bridlington 61 04:30:32
-2
253° (WSW)
61°
LH aerial
York 61 04:30:33
-1
251° (WSW)
65°
LH aerial
Whitby 21 21:17:50
-1
69° (ENE)
57°
RH aerial
Dalby Forest 21 21:17:53
-1
69° (ENE)
56°
RH aerial
Scarborough 21 21:17:54
-2
70° (ENE)
57°
RH aerial
Bridlington 21 21:17:58
-3
70° (ENE)
58°
RH aerial
Scarborough 40 21:26:25
-1
352° (N)
23°
LH aerial
Bridlington 40 21:26:26
-2
352° (N)
22°
LH aerial
York 39 21:35:48
-1
351° (N)
20°
LH aerial
Sutton Bank 39 21:35:49
-2
351° (N)
20°
LH aerial
Scarborough 11 22:42:53
-1
35° (NE)
24°
RH aerial
Bridlington 11 22:42:59
-1
36° (NE)
24°
RH aerial
Sutton Bank 3 22:52:13
-2
36° (NE)
26°
RH aerial
Malton 3 22:52:18
-1
36° (NE)
27°
RH aerial
York 3 22:52:19
-1
36° (NE)
26°
RH aerial
April 22, TueWhitby 30 02:55:52
-1
299° (WNW)
31°
LH aerial
Scarborough 30 02:55:56
-1
298° (WNW)
31°
LH aerial
Dalby Forest 30 02:55:57
-2
298° (WNW)
31°
LH aerial
Bridlington 30 02:55:58
-1
298° (WNW)
30°
LH aerial
Sutton Bank 30 02:55:59
-6
298° (WNW)
32°
LH aerial
Malton 30 02:56:00
-2
298° (WNW)
31°
LH aerial
York 30 02:56:04
-5
298° (WNW)
32°
LH aerial
Whitby 35 04:24:18
-3
256° (WSW)
63°
LH aerial
Scarborough 35 04:24:22
-4
256° (WSW)
62°
LH aerial
Dalby Forest 35 04:24:22
-2
255° (WSW)
63°
LH aerial
Bridlington 35 04:24:25
-5
257° (WSW)
61°
LH aerial
Malton 35 04:24:24
-1
255° (WSW)
64°
LH aerial
York 77 21:20:00
-1
351° (N)
25°
LH aerial
Malton 77 21:20:05
-2
351° (N)
25°
LH aerial
Dalby Forest 77 21:20:08
-2
351° (N)
25°
LH aerial
Scarborough 77 21:20:11
-4
351° (N)
24°
LH aerial
Whitby 77 21:20:11
-2
351° (N)
25°
LH aerial
Bridlington 77 21:20:12
-3
351° (N)
23°
LH aerial
Sutton Bank 62 21:21:03
-1
70° (ENE)
63°
RH aerial
York 62 21:21:07
-1
69° (ENE)
63°
RH aerial
Whitby 76 22:46:16
-2
37° (NE)
28°
RH aerial
Sutton Bank 76 22:46:16
-4
37° (NE)
27°
RH aerial
Dalby Forest 76 22:46:20
-3
38° (NE)
28°
RH aerial
Malton 76 22:46:21
-4
38° (NE)
28°
RH aerial
Scarborough 76 22:46:22
-2
38° (NE)
28°
RH aerial
York 76 22:46:22
-6
38° (NE)
27°
RH aerial
Bridlington 76 22:46:27
-1
38° (NE)
29°
RH aerial
Whitby 45 22:53:03
-2
38° (NE)
27°
RH aerial
Sutton Bank 45 22:53:03
-8
38° (NE)
26°
RH aerial
Dalby Forest 45 22:53:07
-2
38° (NE)
27°
RH aerial
Malton 45 22:53:08
-2
38° (NE)
27°
RH aerial
Scarborough 45 22:53:09
-1
38° (NE)
27°
RH aerial
York 45 22:53:09
-5
38° (NE)
26°
RH aerial
April 23, WedWhitby 57 02:49:44
-5
300° (WNW)
31°
LH aerial
Scarborough 57 02:49:47
-3
300° (WNW)
31°
LH aerial
Dalby Forest 57 02:49:48
-8
300° (WNW)
31°
LH aerial
Bridlington 57 02:49:50
-2
300° (WNW)
30°
LH aerial
Malton 57 02:49:51
-5
300° (WNW)
31°
LH aerial
Sutton Bank 57 02:49:51
-2
300° (WNW)
32°
LH aerial
York 57 02:49:56
-3
299° (WNW)
32°
LH aerial
Whitby 6 04:18:10
-1
257° (WSW)
64°
LH aerial
Scarborough 6 04:18:14
-1
257° (WSW)
63°
LH aerial
Bridlington 6 04:18:17
-2
258° (WSW)
62°
LH aerial
Scarborough 82 21:13:55
-2
350° (N)
26°
LH aerial
Bridlington 82 21:13:56
-4
350° (N)
25°
LH aerial
Sutton Bank 65 21:15:00
-3
71° (ENE)
63°
RH aerial
Malton 65 21:15:02
-1
70° (ENE)
65°
RH aerial
York 65 21:15:05
-2
71° (ENE)
63°
RH aerial
Whitby 46 22:40:10
-1
38° (NE)
27°
RH aerial
Dalby Forest 46 22:40:13
-1
38° (NE)
27°
RH aerial
Malton 46 22:40:14
-1
38° (NE)
27°
RH aerial
Scarborough 46 22:40:15
-2
38° (NE)
28°
RH aerial
Bridlington 46 22:40:20
-3
39° (NE)
28°
RH aerial
April 24, ThuWhitby 60 02:43:33
-4
302° (WNW)
30°
LH aerial
Scarborough 60 02:43:37
-6
302° (WNW)
30°
LH aerial
Dalby Forest 60 02:43:38
-3
302° (WNW)
31°
LH aerial
Bridlington 60 02:43:39
-6
302° (WNW)
29°
LH aerial
Malton 60 02:43:41
-2
302° (WNW)
31°
LH aerial
Sutton Bank 60 02:43:41
-1
302° (WNW)
32°
LH aerial
York 60 02:43:46
-1
301° (WNW)
31°
LH aerial
Sutton Bank 37 04:21:19
-1
263° (W)
58°
LH aerial
York 37 04:21:25
-1
262° (W)
57°
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