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Bright flashes from satellite

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Hi all, 

My friend and I were outside last night looking at the sky and looking for satellites. We saw a few of what I assume were satellites (flat unblinking steadily moving lights) One of them which crossed the sky East to West emitted 2 incredibly bright and intense, very large flashes of pure white light, spaced maybe 2 minutes apart from each other. Neither of us have any more than a basic school knowledge of astronomy but are both interested. We wondered if anyone on here could help shed any light on the flashing satellite we saw?

Many thanks for your time.


Edited by Willieghillie88
Spelling mistake

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Hi & welcome to SGL.

If you would state the time, approx location & the direction you were looking when you saw the object it would narrow it down a bit.

Also how long did it take to cross the sky, a few seconds? . . . a few minutes?           

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Hi guys, thanks very much for your input.

We are in North East Scotland, it was about 11pm that we saw it. We were facing South but the light crossed the sky from East to West and was moving probably half as quickly or twice as fast again as the Iridium satellites in the video posted by Ruud.

Also, the ones in the video seem to be a more gradual increase and fading of light intensity. Whatever we saw was an instantaneous, incredibly intense flash, like an explosion of white light.

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Yes, most likely Iridium flares, or another low earth orbit satellite catching the sun. They tend to build up to a maximum and then fade away over about ten seconds whilst moving across the sky steadily like a normal satellite. You can often see the satellite continuing on after the flare.

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