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Brightest satellite flare I've ever seen


starman1969
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I had just parked up at Ingleton, North Yorks for some viewing and I looked out of the window to see a very bright 'star'. I thought it was Arcturus because it was in the same direction, but when I got out to have a proper look I could see the real Arcturus and that was nowhere near as bright.

The flare brightened further, then faded as it moved in a northerly direction. I've seen a few mag -8 iridiums in my time, but this easily outshone them all, and it was very bright for about 20 seconds or so. There were no Iridiums forcecast, so I must check Heavens Above to see if I can find out what it was.

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Assuming the night of June 5/6th.

Depending on the time there were 2 fairly bright ones, Ingleton was not far from the flare centre.

If 22:42 the Iridium 83, if 02:16 then Iridium 43.

There was a brighter one at 03:04 followed within 2 minutes by another bright one, Iridium 65 and 14. These 2 were very much at the same position in the sky. Should have looked good, and anyone who saw them without knowing will I suspect have been questioning what they had seen.

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I also saw something incredibly bright last night - about 10.52pm looking West - again I thought of Arcturus but it was far to bright for that - obviously not ISS - but can't find anything on Heavens Above that matches -It's a mystery as Toyah would say.....

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I also saw something incredibly bright last night - about 10.52pm looking West - again I thought of Arcturus but it was far to bright for that - obviously not ISS - but can't find anything on Heavens Above that matches -It's a mystery as Toyah would say.....

Obviously one for the UFO mob.

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I awoke once to see a very bright light similar to what you described and couldn't figure it out, it made me really uneasy and I had to finish off a 2nd bottle of Jack Daniels before I could get back to sleep.

Seriously though, hope you can figure it out. On your previous -8 magnitude views was your location 100% spot on? Even just a short distance out can make a huge difference in the brightness. I used to use Leeds as my location but I live about 6 miles south of Leeds and that was enough to give me duff expected magnitudes for flares.

However if it wasn't a flare a meteor burning up in the atmosphere?

Good luck and let us know if you figure it out.

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