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was outside last night and it must have been around 10.15/10.30ish (i didnt have a watch - doh!) below vega but higher than casseopia in an easterly direction i saw the brightest thing i think i have ever seen! i can only think it was an iridium flare but i looked on heavens above and there was nothing scheduled (ironically i think i also saw one a few days previously below cassiopea in a northerly direction which was also unscheduled)

did anyone else see it?

im a total beginner so sorry for the poor details of time and location!

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Yeah i saw it too, high to the N/E! sudden burst of extreme brightness, rapidly dimmed but was visible for 20 seconds or so moving at satellite speed.

Was wondering if anyone else caught it.

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well at least hubby and i know we werent imagining it! :)

it was so bright wasnt it! absolutely beautiful :)

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I saw the same thing from the sailsbury star party on friday night,same location and time,was proberly iridium flare.

Ian

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Well your not bonkers! I saw it from The north east. It was definitely a satellite as I traced it for quite a while with binoculars after it fade below naked eye visibility.

Not sure if was an iridium though. Some times other satellites also catch the light quite well.

The iridium's are most impressive in day time when the just appeer in the fully lit sky!

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Not sure if this was the same thing but at about 10.20 ish on the 22nd, I had just looked up from the eyepiece to see a bright flash heading south west through Hercules. But this only lasted a second or two. This was more meteor speed (which I initially thought it was, only getting a quick glimpse) certainly not satellite speed.

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Not having witnessed an iridium yet, are thet a short lived "flare" rather than the long drawn out show that ISS provides?

Also, my collegue suggested that they are geostationary, but on Heavens above they are protrayed as moving (relatively to observer). I guess that once I have a confirmed sighting, I'll know for sure.

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Sounds like a good bright one. HA appears to only show current live Iridiums. Have a look at CalSky as that appears to list all of the satellites up there.

Iridiums aren't geostationary. They are trans polar, I think that's the right term. You'll see them as always moving N-S or S-N. A flare in other direction isn't an Iridium, but a solar panel, or reflective surface on some other object. A Flare lasts about 15-20 seconds with maybe 10-15 seconds of lead in and lead out.

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Maybe it was a piece of orbital debris (space junk)? Some of them tumble and momentarily reflect the sunlight just like the predictable Iridium satellites. Well done to those who spotted it, whatever it was! :icon_eek:

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Tomorrow moroning, according to Heavens above, I have the prospect of 3 Iridiums between 06:12 and 06:36, I do hope I get a nice clear sky.

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In a little over an hour IR 59 is expected to "flare" with a -3 mag. Weather has been favourable all day, even allowing for sunbathing at lunchtime, so fingers crossed. I'm hoping to be able to catch a snap of it too.

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At last I've finally seen my first, confirmed, Iridium flare. I nearly missed it as I'd poorly estimated the part of the sky it would appear from, but there was no mistaking it once I did catch sight. No chance to change the position of the camera, but it would certainly have burned a path across the sensor had I managed.

Tomorrow, there is one forcast to be -8 Mag! Just .06 km from my location, so I'm really hoping for clear skies again.

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I saw my first iridium flare a few months back. I wasnt looking for one, infact i was packing up for the night and heading indoors. I caught it in the corner of my eye at first so quickly turned to face it. It lasted about 10 seconds. It was really bright. I was over the moon (almost literally) with joy. About 15 seconds later, i saw a second flare from roughly the same area of sky. Possibly the same Iridium satellite flaring up a second time?.

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I wouldn't expect them to "flare" a second time. More likely another satellite, there's quite a few of them up there now. I guess soon they'll be so much junk up there, that they won't be able to launch any more for fear of collisions. Now wouldn't that be just typical?

Fingers crossed for this evening..........

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I wouldn't expect them to "flare" a second time. More likely another satellite, there's quite a few of them up there now. I guess soon they'll be so much junk up there, that they won't be able to launch any more for fear of collisions. Now wouldn't that be just typical?

Fingers crossed for this evening..........

I had no planned to observe it, but you are right. I also didnt think that the same Iridium satellite could/would flare up a second time. It must have been a seperate one. The second one was about a third as bright. I dont know what the chances of seeing 2 within a short period of time is but that is what i saw.

Chances are now i an SLR camera that i may never see one ever again.

Edited by LukeSkywatcher

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You just have to keep checking on predicted flarings for your location. I use Heavens above, which has proved reliable enough for ISS flarings. The biggest problem, as always, is the cloud cover. Which reminds me, must check outside and see how lucky I feel for this evenings BIG one................

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I managed to catch sight of IR95, but only the latter half of the flare. Once again I wasn't quite looking in the correct direction. It was bright, although I'd like to have seen it fade in and the entire duration. Still, I'm getting better at this. Looking forward to the next bright one...........

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