Sunday, 2 December 2007

Lacrosse 5 flaring, and another Iridium flare

A gale today had blown the skies clear by dusk. I observed Lacrosse 5 (05-016A) and saw it flare to mag. 0 at 16:49:08 +/- 5s UTC. I catched it on photograph with an exposure starting only some 2 seconds after the flare peak: but a strong gust of wind rocked the camera tripod during the exposure, leading to a disrupted trail image.

I was more lucky half an hour later, when Iridium 7 (97-020B) flared to mag. -2.5. It resulted in a nice picture:

(click image to enlarge)

I combined this evenings Iridium 7 flare picture with that of the Iridium 97 flare yesterday. It nicely shows how the geometry of the orbit and fixed attitude for the Iridium constellation makes them flare at more or less the same location:

(click image to enlarge)

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