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North Yorkshire - Iridium Flares


Tyneside, UK
2015 Apr 2
Thursday, Day 92

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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 1, WedWhitby 61 19:42:34
-2
152° (SSE)
69°
RH aerial
Scarborough 61 19:42:38
-3
155° (SSE)
69°
RH aerial
Dalby Forest 61 19:42:38
-1
151° (SSE)
68°
RH aerial
Malton 61 19:42:40
-1
150° (SSE)
68°
RH aerial
Bridlington 61 19:42:41
-8
157° (SSE)
69°
RH aerial
Whitby 4 19:43:00
-5
161° (SSE)
69°
RH aerial
Dalby Forest 4 19:43:03
-7
159° (SSE)
69°
RH aerial
Scarborough 4 19:43:03
-2
163° (SSE)
70°
RH aerial
Bridlington 4 19:43:07
-1
167° (SSE)
70°
RH aerial
Malton 4 19:43:06
-4
158° (SSE)
69°
RH aerial
Whitby 86 21:18:05
-1
80° (E)
51°
RH aerial
Scarborough 86 21:18:09
-1
81° (E)
52°
RH aerial
Bridlington 86 21:18:13
-2
81° (E)
52°
RH aerial
Whitby 81 22:33:36
-1
39° (NE)
20°
RH aerial
Dalby Forest 81 22:33:39
-1
39° (NE)
19°
RH aerial
Scarborough 81 22:33:41
-1
39° (NE)
20°
RH aerial
Bridlington 81 22:33:47
-2
40° (NE)
20°
RH aerial
Whitby 82 22:43:00
-1
40° (NE)
22°
RH aerial
Dalby Forest 82 22:43:03
-1
41° (NE)
22°
RH aerial
Malton 82 22:43:05
-1
41° (NE)
22°
RH aerial
April 2, ThuBridlington 46 02:55:30
-6
120° (ESE)
17°
Middle aerial
Scarborough 46 02:55:33
-4
120° (ESE)
17°
Middle aerial
Malton 47 03:04:53
-1
122° (ESE)
21°
Middle aerial
Dalby Forest 47 03:04:57
-1
122° (ESE)
21°
Middle aerial
Scarborough 47 03:04:59
-1
122° (ESE)
21°
Middle aerial
Whitby 47 03:05:02
-1
122° (ESE)
21°
Middle aerial
Scarborough 31 05:58:46
-1
21° (NNE)
33°
RH aerial
Malton 31 05:58:46
-3
22° (NNE)
32°
RH aerial
York 31 05:58:45
-5
22° (NNE)
31°
RH aerial
Dalby Forest 31 05:58:47
-2
22° (NNE)
32°
RH aerial
Whitby 31 05:58:50
-1
22° (NNE)
32°
RH aerial
Scarborough 35 19:36:35
-1
155° (SSE)
69°
RH aerial
Bridlington 35 19:36:38
-2
158° (SSE)
69°
RH aerial
Whitby 53 21:21:11
-1
82° (E)
57°
RH aerial
Scarborough 53 21:21:15
-1
83° (E)
58°
RH aerial
Dalby Forest 53 21:21:15
-2
83° (E)
57°
RH aerial
Sutton Bank 53 21:21:15
-8
82° (E)
55°
RH aerial
Malton 53 21:21:17
-2
82° (E)
56°
RH aerial
York 53 21:21:20
-6
82° (E)
55°
RH aerial
Sutton Bank 18 22:37:00
-2
41° (NE)
21°
RH aerial
Whitby 18 22:37:01
-7
41° (NE)
22°
RH aerial
Dalby Forest 18 22:37:04
-6
42° (NE)
22°
RH aerial
Scarborough 18 22:37:06
-5
42° (NE)
23°
RH aerial
Malton 18 22:37:06
-4
42° (NE)
22°
RH aerial
York 18 22:37:06
-2
42° (NE)
21°
RH aerial
Bridlington 18 22:37:11
-3
42° (NE)
23°
RH aerial
April 3, FriSutton Bank 3 03:08:07
-1
124° (SE)
23°
Middle aerial
Bridlington 45 05:17:05
-3
19° (NNE)
22°
RH aerial
Scarborough 45 05:17:10
-2
19° (NNE)
21°
RH aerial
Dalby Forest 45 05:17:13
-1
20° (NNE)
21°
RH aerial
Whitby 45 05:17:15
-1
19° (NNE)
21°
RH aerial
Bridlington 91 05:52:44
-1
22° (NNE)
31°
RH aerial
Scarborough 91 05:52:48
-2
22° (NNE)
31°
RH aerial
Dalby Forest 91 05:52:50
-7
23° (NNE)
30°
RH aerial
Malton 91 05:52:49
-5
23° (NNE)
30°
RH aerial
York 91 05:52:49
-2
23° (NNE)
29°
RH aerial
Whitby 91 05:52:53
-4
22° (NNE)
31°
RH aerial
Sutton Bank 91 05:52:54
-1
23° (NNE)
29°
RH aerial
Sutton Bank 7 19:39:39
-2
172° (S)
70°
RH aerial
York 7 19:39:44
-1
173° (S)
70°
RH aerial
Whitby 54 21:15:08
-5
83° (E)
57°
RH aerial
Scarborough 54 21:15:12
-3
84° (E)
57°
RH aerial
Dalby Forest 54 21:15:11
-7
83° (E)
56°
RH aerial
Sutton Bank 54 21:15:12
-2
83° (E)
54°
RH aerial
Bridlington 54 21:15:15
-2
84° (E)
58°
RH aerial
Malton 54 21:15:14
-5
84° (E)
56°
RH aerial
York 54 21:15:17
-2
83° (E)
54°
RH aerial
Scarborough 39 22:31:01
-1
42° (NE)
22°
RH aerial
Bridlington 39 22:31:07
-1
43° (NE)
23°
RH aerial
Whitby 80 22:40:25
-1
44° (NE)
26°
RH aerial
Sutton Bank 80 22:40:25
-2
44° (NE)
25°
RH aerial
Dalby Forest 80 22:40:29
-1
44° (NE)
26°
RH aerial
Malton 80 22:40:30
-1
44° (NE)
26°
RH aerial
York 80 22:40:31
-2
44° (NE)
25°
RH aerial
April 4, SatScarborough 76 03:02:03
-1
126° (SE)
24°
Middle aerial
Whitby 76 03:02:06
-2
126° (SE)
24°
Middle aerial
York 59 05:46:49
-2
22° (NNE)
29°
RH aerial
Sutton Bank 59 05:46:54
-2
22° (NNE)
29°
RH aerial
Whitby 83 21:09:06
-4
85° (E)
57°
RH aerial
Scarborough 83 21:09:10
-7
86° (E)
58°
RH aerial
Dalby Forest 83 21:09:10
-3
85° (E)
57°
RH aerial
Sutton Bank 83 21:09:10
-1
85° (E)
55°
RH aerial
Bridlington 83 21:09:13
-4
85° (E)
59°
RH aerial
Malton 83 21:09:12
-2
85° (E)
56°
RH aerial
York 83 21:09:15
-1
85° (E)
55°
RH aerial
Whitby 81 22:34:24
-4
45° (NE)
27°
RH aerial
Sutton Bank 81 22:34:25
-3
45° (NE)
26°
RH aerial
Dalby Forest 81 22:34:28
-4
46° (NE)
27°
RH aerial
Scarborough 81 22:34:30
-3
46° (NE)
27°
RH aerial
Malton 81 22:34:30
-6
46° (NE)
26°
RH aerial
York 81 22:34:31
-4
46° (NE)
26°
RH aerial
Bridlington 81 22:34:35
-2
46° (NE)
27°
RH aerial
April 5, SunSutton Bank 47 03:05:11
-1
129° (SE)
27°
Middle aerial
Bridlington 55 05:31:56
-6
22° (NNE)
25°
RH aerial
Scarborough 55 05:32:01
-3
22° (NNE)
25°
RH aerial
Malton 55 05:32:03
-1
22° (NNE)
24°
RH aerial
Dalby Forest 55 05:32:04
-1
22° (NNE)
24°
RH aerial
Whitby 55 05:32:06
-2
22° (NNE)
25°
RH aerial
York 95 05:40:51
-1
22° (NNE)
28°
RH aerial
Sutton Bank 95 05:40:57
-1
22° (NNE)
27°
RH aerial
Scarborough 56 21:03:04
-1
86° (E)
56°
RH aerial
Bridlington 56 21:03:07
-1
86° (E)
57°
RH aerial
Sutton Bank 52 21:12:16
-1
87° (E)
63°
RH aerial
Whitby 43 22:28:21
-1
46° (NE)
27°
RH aerial
Dalby Forest 43 22:28:24
-1
46° (NE)
26°
RH aerial
Scarborough 43 22:28:26
-2
46° (NE)
27°
RH aerial
Malton 43 22:28:26
-1
46° (NE)
26°
RH aerial
Bridlington 43 22:28:31
-3
47° (NE)
27°
RH aerial
Whitby 42 22:30:45
-4
46° (NE)
28°
RH aerial
Sutton Bank 42 22:30:45
-1
46° (NE)
26°
RH aerial
Dalby Forest 42 22:30:48
-3
46° (NE)
27°
RH aerial
Scarborough 42 22:30:50
-8
47° (NE)
28°
RH aerial
Malton 42 22:30:50
-3
47° (NE)
27°
RH aerial
York 42 22:30:52
-2
47° (NE)
26°
RH aerial
Bridlington 42 22:30:55
-4
47° (NE)
28°
RH aerial
Sutton Bank 18 22:37:45
-1
47° (NE)
29°
RH aerial
York 18 22:37:51
-1
48° (NE)
29°
RH aerial
April 6, MonBridlington 31 05:25:58
-3
22° (NNE)
24°
RH aerial
Scarborough 31 05:26:03
-6
22° (NNE)
24°
RH aerial
Malton 31 05:26:05
-2
22° (NNE)
23°
RH aerial
Dalby Forest 31 05:26:06
-3
22° (NNE)
23°
RH aerial
York 31 05:26:06
-1
22° (NNE)
22°
RH aerial
Whitby 31 05:26:08
-5
22° (NNE)
23°
RH aerial
Sutton Bank 31 05:26:11
-1
22° (NNE)
22°
RH aerial
Sutton Bank 10 21:06:13
-1
89° (E)
63°
RH aerial
York 10 21:06:18
-1
89° (E)
63°
RH aerial
Sutton Bank 39 22:31:39
-5
48° (NE)
29°
RH aerial
York 39 22:31:45
-8
48° (NE)
29°
RH aerial
April 7, TueYork 45 04:44:43
-3
18° (NNE)
13°
RH aerial
Sutton Bank 45 04:44:48
-3
18° (NNE)
13°
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