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cathalferris

Who here has seen a daytime Iridium flare?

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And who here saw one when not specifically looking for one?

I'm in the habit of keeping one eye on the skies when I can, and I've seen some pretty cool things just by being aware. I've found that this 'skill' has its uses in the real world as well, combined with the practiced ability to eke out detail out of my centre of vision. Mostly I've seen this to be useful when driving, when I can notice things happening at the side of the road or in my mirrors when I'm looking forwards.

A few months ago I was driving along the nearby motorway when I noticed a glint ahead and high, maybe 30 degrees up. First thought was 'that's a bright flash from a plane". As I continued to watch while not losing attention to the road it was obvious that it was the same speed and brightness profile as a night-time Iridium flare. I checked up for daytime flares on Heavens-Above and it was confirmed as a -7 mag flare.

It was surprisingly easy to see, and it got me thinking as to who else hase seen Iridium flares when the sun is up, and how many people noticed it without having been specifically looking for it?

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Once. It was about 5pm and I was leaving work (my previous job :)) and I knew one was going to happen so I stood outside the building and waited. After a crowd had formed wondering what I was looking at I was able to point at nearly the right part of the sky only 5 seconds before the flare became visible. Quite a few were impressed but the rest just shrugged their shoulders and walked away. :)

James

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I've not see one just by chance, not that I could really say. There have been the odd strange lights, but they were long before I'd ever heard of Iridium flares.

I did catch one on purpose though, thanks to clear blue sky and Heavens Above.

IR-76, 14th April 2011.

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I've seen one. A couple of years ago now, but I knew where and when to look. About 45 deg alt, and magnitude -8, and so bright there was some iridescent colouration... a strange sight in a daylight sky.

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Yep, just the other month checked it out on heavens above just to confirm, got me thinking how many are seen daily and what people think they are.

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