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North Yorkshire - Iridium Flares


Scarborough, UK
2014 Jul 26
Saturday, Day 207

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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
July 25, FriWhitby 77 22:44:21
-2
37° (NE)
39°
RH aerial
Sutton Bank 77 22:44:22
-4
37° (NE)
38°
RH aerial
Dalby Forest 77 22:44:24
-2
37° (NE)
39°
RH aerial
Scarborough 77 22:44:26
-1
37° (NE)
40°
RH aerial
Malton 77 22:44:26
-3
37° (NE)
39°
RH aerial
York 77 22:44:28
-6
38° (NE)
38°
RH aerial
July 26, SatBridlington 62 01:30:13
-6
188° (S)
55°
Middle aerial
Malton 62 01:30:14
-1
183° (S)
55°
Middle aerial
Scarborough 62 01:30:17
-4
186° (S)
55°
Middle aerial
Dalby Forest 62 01:30:17
-2
184° (S)
55°
Middle aerial
Whitby 62 01:30:21
-2
184° (S)
55°
Middle aerial
York 25 03:06:34
-2
127° (SE)
45°
Middle aerial
Malton 25 03:06:39
-4
128° (SE)
46°
Middle aerial
Bridlington 25 03:06:40
-2
130° (SE)
48°
Middle aerial
Sutton Bank 25 03:06:40
-1
126° (SE)
45°
Middle aerial
Scarborough 25 03:06:43
-4
129° (SE)
48°
Middle aerial
Dalby Forest 25 03:06:42
-6
128° (SE)
47°
Middle aerial
Whitby 25 03:06:47
-7
128° (SE)
47°
Middle aerial
Bridlington 55 04:16:35
-3
81° (E)
22°
Middle aerial
Malton 55 04:16:37
-1
81° (E)
21°
Middle aerial
Scarborough 55 04:16:39
-2
81° (E)
22°
Middle aerial
Dalby Forest 55 04:16:40
-1
81° (E)
21°
Middle aerial
Whitby 55 04:16:43
-2
81° (E)
22°
Middle aerial
York 29 04:24:35
-2
83° (E)
23°
Middle aerial
Malton 29 04:24:39
-1
82° (E)
24°
Middle aerial
Dalby Forest 29 04:24:41
-1
83° (E)
24°
Middle aerial
Sutton Bank 29 04:24:41
-2
82° (E)
23°
Middle aerial
York 95 04:25:39
-1
82° (E)
23°
Middle aerial
Malton 95 04:25:43
-1
82° (E)
24°
Middle aerial
Sutton Bank 95 04:25:46
-1
82° (E)
23°
Middle aerial
Sutton Bank 29 04:28:50
-1
27° (NNE)
11°
RH aerial
Dalby Forest 95 04:29:48
-1
28° (NNE)
11°
RH aerial
Malton 95 04:29:48
-1
28° (NNE)
11°
RH aerial
York 95 04:29:49
-3
28° (NNE)
11°
RH aerial
Whitby 95 04:29:50
-1
28° (NNE)
12°
RH aerial
Sutton Bank 95 04:29:53
-3
28° (NNE)
11°
RH aerial
Whitby 82 22:38:18
-3
38° (NE)
39°
RH aerial
Dalby Forest 82 22:38:21
-2
39° (NE)
39°
RH aerial
Scarborough 82 22:38:22
-5
38° (NE)
39°
RH aerial
Malton 82 22:38:23
-2
39° (NE)
38°
RH aerial
York 82 22:38:25
-1
40° (NE)
37°
RH aerial
Bridlington 82 22:38:27
-4
39° (NE)
40°
RH aerial
July 27, SunBridlington 65 01:24:09
-2
187° (S)
55°
Middle aerial
Scarborough 65 01:24:13
-1
185° (S)
55°
Middle aerial
Bridlington 47 03:00:33
-8
131° (SE)
48°
Middle aerial
Malton 47 03:00:32
-1
129° (SE)
46°
Middle aerial
Dalby Forest 47 03:00:35
-2
129° (SE)
46°
Middle aerial
Scarborough 47 03:00:36
-4
130° (SE)
47°
Middle aerial
Whitby 47 03:00:39
-2
129° (SE)
46°
Middle aerial
York 30 04:19:26
-4
84° (E)
23°
Middle aerial
Bridlington 30 04:19:28
-2
85° (E)
25°
Middle aerial
Malton 30 04:19:30
-5
84° (E)
24°
Middle aerial
Scarborough 30 04:19:32
-2
84° (E)
25°
Middle aerial
Dalby Forest 30 04:19:33
-3
84° (E)
24°
Middle aerial
Sutton Bank 30 04:19:33
-4
83° (E)
23°
Middle aerial
Whitby 30 04:19:37
-3
84° (E)
24°
Middle aerial
Whitby 18 22:32:18
-1
40° (NE)
39°
RH aerial
Dalby Forest 18 22:32:22
-1
41° (NE)
39°
RH aerial
Scarborough 18 22:32:23
-2
40° (NE)
40°
RH aerial
Bridlington 18 22:32:28
-3
41° (NE)
40°
RH aerial
July 28, MonYork 21 01:27:08
-1
197° (SSW)
53°
Middle aerial
Sutton Bank 21 01:27:15
-2
196° (SSW)
54°
Middle aerial
Bridlington 11 02:54:26
-1
131° (SE)
46°
Middle aerial
York 3 03:03:34
-1
136° (SE)
50°
Middle aerial
Sutton Bank 3 03:03:40
-1
135° (SE)
50°
Middle aerial
York 57 04:13:20
-1
85° (E)
23°
Middle aerial
Bridlington 57 04:13:22
-4
86° (E)
24°
Middle aerial
Malton 57 04:13:23
-1
85° (E)
24°
Middle aerial
Scarborough 57 04:13:26
-3
85° (E)
24°
Middle aerial
Dalby Forest 57 04:13:26
-2
85° (E)
24°
Middle aerial
Whitby 57 04:13:30
-2
85° (E)
24°
Middle aerial
York 58 04:22:27
-1
87° (E)
26°
Middle aerial
Sutton Bank 58 04:22:33
-1
87° (E)
26°
Middle aerial
Bridlington 39 22:26:27
-1
42° (NE)
40°
RH aerial
Sutton Bank 80 22:35:39
-1
40° (NE)
44°
RH aerial
July 29, TueYork 70 01:21:05
-5
194° (SSW)
53°
Middle aerial
Malton 70 01:21:09
-4
197° (SSW)
53°
Middle aerial
Scarborough 70 01:21:12
-1
199° (SSW)
53°
Middle aerial
Dalby Forest 70 01:21:12
-3
197° (SSW)
53°
Middle aerial
Sutton Bank 70 01:21:11
-3
193° (SSW)
54°
Middle aerial
Whitby 70 01:21:16
-2
198° (SSW)
53°
Middle aerial
York 76 02:57:28
-2
137° (SE)
49°
Middle aerial
Malton 76 02:57:32
-1
139° (SE)
50°
Middle aerial
Sutton Bank 76 02:57:33
-3
137° (SE)
49°
Middle aerial
Bridlington 60 04:07:12
-1
88° (E)
25°
Middle aerial
York 55 04:16:17
-3
89° (E)
27°
Middle aerial
Malton 55 04:16:20
-2
89° (E)
27°
Middle aerial
Scarborough 55 04:16:23
-1
90° (E)
28°
Middle aerial
Dalby Forest 55 04:16:23
-1
89° (E)
28°
Middle aerial
Sutton Bank 55 04:16:23
-4
89° (E)
27°
Middle aerial
Whitby 55 04:16:27
-1
89° (E)
28°
Middle aerial
Sutton Bank 81 22:29:39
-2
42° (NE)
45°
RH aerial
York 81 22:29:45
-1
42° (NE)
45°
RH aerial
July 30, WedYork 64 01:15:01
-2
195° (SSW)
53°
Middle aerial
Bridlington 64 01:15:03
-1
202° (SSW)
52°
Middle aerial
Malton 64 01:15:04
-5
197° (SSW)
53°
Middle aerial
Scarborough 64 01:15:07
-3
200° (SSW)
52°
Middle aerial
Dalby Forest 64 01:15:07
-8
198° (SSW)
53°
Middle aerial
Sutton Bank 64 01:15:07
-1
194° (SSW)
54°
Middle aerial
Whitby 64 01:15:12
-7
199° (SSW)
53°
Middle aerial
York 46 02:51:20
-2
137° (SE)
47°
Middle aerial
Malton 46 02:51:25
-6
137° (SE)
48°
Middle aerial
Bridlington 46 02:51:27
-1
140° (SE)
50°
Middle aerial
Sutton Bank 46 02:51:26
-2
136° (SE)
47°
Middle aerial
Dalby Forest 46 02:51:29
-7
137° (SE)
49°
Middle aerial
Scarborough 46 02:51:30
-3
139° (SE)
50°
Middle aerial
Whitby 46 02:51:33
-5
138° (SE)
49°
Middle aerial
York 31 04:10:06
-2
90° (E)
26°
Middle aerial
Bridlington 31 04:10:09
-3
91° (E)
28°
Middle aerial
Malton 31 04:10:10
-4
90° (E)
27°
Middle aerial
Scarborough 31 04:10:12
-4
91° (E)
27°
Middle aerial
Sutton Bank 31 04:10:12
-2
90° (E)
26°
Middle aerial
Dalby Forest 31 04:10:13
-5
90° (E)
27°
Middle aerial
Whitby 31 04:10:17
-8
90° (E)
27°
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