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Iridium flares... or something?

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I was just out taking some wide-angle shots of the sky (around 8pm BST) and I saw a satellite suddenly get brighter for about a second or two (mag 3 or 4? just a guess) then go dark again. My understanding of Iridium flares is that they are very sudden but this lasted a second or two. The camera unfortunately was pointing elsewhere so I didn't capture it.

How can I find out what satellite it was? I know there is a website somewhere where you can find out when Iridium flares happened, but I don't think that's what it was?


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Iridium Flares can last from 5 to about 20 seconds. They are usually mag 0 or higher, at least HA doesn't list any below 0 magnitude. The satellites themselves when not flaring run about mag 6. What you saw may have been an Iridium satellite, but many satellites have various surfaces that can produce random flares, and this may have been a chance glint from a shiny spot on a satellite.

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