Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Another Iridium flare, Lacrosse 4 and another Lacrosse 5 "disappearance"

This evening another Iridium flare was predicted for my location. Iridium 76 (98-048B, #25432) was predicted to flare to mag. -4.8 at 18:16:41.7 UTC at virtually the same sky location as yesterdays Iridium 03 flare.

The flare was very fine again. A field of clouds passing by added a dramatic touch to the scene, as can be seen in the photograph below.

(click image to enlarge)

A quarter of an hour earlier, I observed and photographed a fine pass of Lacrosse 4 (00-047A, #26473). It passed close to the Pleiades cluster again, making for a scenic picture (see below). I obtained two images, hence 4 points. Lacrosse 4 was some 0.35s late.

(click image to enlarge)

A minute after the Iridium 76 flare, I switched my attention to Lacrosse 5 (05-016A, #28646). It was bright as it climbed from Cygnus through Andromeda to Cassiopeia. Just before my camera opened for the first exposure, it however did its "disappearance trick" again, this time at 18:18:18 UTC (ugh, if you are nutty enough to believe in numerology (which I don't) that is a Devilish time to do trics for a clandestine sat....6+6+6:6+6+6:6+6+6 !).


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