Iridium Flares

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Christopher K.
Posts: 4335
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Iridium Flares

Post by Christopher K. » November 28th, 2017, 4:11 pm

For those who have never seen one, an Iridium flare is one of the greatest manmade phenomena ever--albeit probably completely unintentional. The Iridium are a group of satellites that happen to have extremely reflective aluminum antenna coated with Teflon. During certain points in these satellites' orbits, the observer-satellite-Sun angle causes a large amount of light to shine down to the viewer for a period of seconds. It is truly an incredible experience. I've seen several.

Sadly, the replacement satellites will not "flare" like the ones they are replacing. The old Iridiums only have a few months left. A lecture entitled "The Final Flares" will explain how to search for these remaining predicted events with family and friends. The lecture will be at HRPO on Friday 23 December at 7:30pm. The talk is for a general adult audience and has no admission fee.

More information:
http://www.skyandtelescope.com/observin ... -too-late/

Spotting Iridium Flares:
http://www.skyandtelescope.com/observin ... um-flares/

Christopher K.
Posts: 4335
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: Iridium Flares

Post by Christopher K. » January 19th, 2018, 3:57 pm

The Iridium flare talk had been postponed from last month to tonight, but once again inclement weather has forced a change in the HRPO schedule.

"The Final Iridium Flares" will now take place on 9 February, 7:30pm at the Highland Road Park Observatory.

Christopher K.
Posts: 4335
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: Iridium Flares

Post by Christopher K. » February 28th, 2018, 5:17 pm

Catch Iridium flares before they're gone! As many as possible will be posted with as much notice as possible. Check this thread daily.

*Wed 28 Feb, 7:26pm to 7:30pm CST [magnitude -8.1 on a line from Morgan City, Pierre Part, between Allemania and St. Gabriel, River Road west of LSU Golf Course, Pine Street and Fourth Street in Port Allen, Lindsay and Jackson]
*Thu 1 Mar, 5:43am to 5:47am CST [magnitude -7.9 on a line from the Highway 1/Highway 3185 intersection, Welcome Park, Sorrento, Port Vincent, Walker and Baywood]

All "lines" will be described from south to north or from west to east. A fairly good magnitude can be seen probably from within twelve kilometers of these lines. Check with Heavens Above and plug in your actual location...
http://www.heavens-above.com

Christopher K.
Posts: 4335
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: Iridium Flares

Post by Christopher K. » May 11th, 2018, 5:03 pm

Fri 11 May, 8:05pm to 8:09pm CDT [magnitude -6.9, 33 degrees in the northwest]
Sat 12 May, 5:22pm to 5:26pm CDT [magnitude -8.4, 54 degrees in the northwest]
Wed 16 May, 7:40pm to 7:44pm CDT [magnitude -7.2, 38 degrees in the northwest]

The generation of a passover line for these flares is not possible at this time.

Christopher K.
Posts: 4335
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: Iridium Flares

Post by Christopher K. » May 16th, 2018, 6:37 pm

The passover of tonight's Iridium flare:
from Amelia, through Lake Palourde and Grassy Lake, cutting through Attakapas Landing and the extreme east of Elm Hall Wildlife Management Area, west of Paincourtville and Belle Rose, just east of Highway 1/Rocky Canal intersection, crossing Mississippi River between Carville and Honeywell, eastern St. Gabriel, just east of HRPO, east side of Village St. George, west of Resthaven Cemetary, through North Sherwood Forest and Monticello, western Central, just east of Joor/Denham intersection, just east of Milldale Baptist Church, just west of Reames/Port Hudson-Pride intersection, just west of Plank Road/Highway 10 intersection

Christopher K.
Posts: 4335
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: Iridium Flares

Post by Christopher K. » September 12th, 2018, 5:55 pm

*Thu 13 Sep, 7:46pm to 7:48pm CDT [magnitude -0.9 on a line from Thibodeaux, just west of Vacherie and Gramercy, through Livingston and Pine Grove]
*Sun 16 Sep, 7:33pm to 7:37pm CDT [magnitude +0.6 on a line from Franklin, I-10 near Grosse Tete, just east of Livonia, the west bank of False River]
*Sun 16 Sep, 7:33pm to 7:37pm CDT [magnitude -8.0 on a line from Attakapas Landing at Lake Verret, west of Paincourtville, the 70/996 intersection, east of Annadale and White Castle, west of Carville, the river at St. Gabriel, the Burbank/Bluebonnet intersection, the Staring/Perkins intersection, just west of OLOL, just east of the I-10/I-12 split, Towne Center, parallel to Lobdell, Liberty Lagoon, the Tom/Wooddale intersection, the Airline/Greenwell Springs cloverleaf, parallel to Nashville Avenue, almost parallel to Foster, crossing Pettit near Hightime Evangelistic Center, east of Brown Heights, Plank/Lower Zachary intersection, cross Pride-Port Hudson near W.J. Wicker, 956/412 intersection, 19/955 intersection, east of Gurley, Wilson and Norwood. Whew! This last flare will be almost directly between Altair and Saturn. It also may be the last well-placed negative eight Iridium flare for the Baton Rouge area ever.

Christopher K.
Posts: 4335
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: Iridium Flares

Post by Christopher K. » September 24th, 2018, 2:48 pm

The Iridium company has created a "Flarewell" page for Iridium flares...
https://www.iridium.com/flarewell/

Please keep in mind, the first group of Iridiums were not the only manmade orbit things to flare, but they were the most numerous and most predictable.

Christopher K.
Posts: 4335
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: Iridium Flares

Post by Christopher K. » October 1st, 2018, 2:43 pm

Ms. Amy tells me that for the next year or so we may have the chance of observing sporadic Iridium flares due to some of the old ones remaining in a parking orbit for a while.

*Thu 4 Oct, 6:14am to 6:18am CDT [Iridium #59, magnitude -3.9 (43˚N in the sky) on a line from west of Bayou Goula, through Port Allen and Southern University, through Norwood]
*Fri 5 Oct, 6:08am to 6:12am CDT [Iridium #95, magnitude -7.6 (42˚N in the sky) on a line through Elm Hall Wildlife Management Area, 70/996 intersection, east of Annadale and west of Carville, just west of Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center, through Perkins Road Community Park, Airline/Prescott intersection, Hooper Road and T.D. Bickham Parks, east of Slaughter, through Ethel and Gurley]

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