Hi everyone, I am little behind in posting this for staying up all night viewing a not so great (I'm being generous) Lyrid meteor shower. <sigh> I guess some of you remember my post from a couple of days ago. I introduced myself to the list and described the first dramatic flare I ever saw, and the first time I had ever seen HST flare at all. Well, last night (4/21) I anticipated what might happen again with HST and was thrilled to realize ISS was going to be making a pass approximately the same time as HST - ISS would culminate approximately one minute before HST. Well, I spotted ISS first (elev. ~25deg. azimuth ~180deg.) at mag. 2.0. SatSpy predicted ~ 0 mag., but I was using elsets over a week old. As I watched (21:02 EDT), ISS suddenly started to brighten as if there would be no end. It flared in a steady fashion to ~ -4.5 to maybe -5.0 mag. (and maybe even slightly more) that lasted for ~ 45 seconds (I still have trouble judging magnitude as accurately as most of you probably can) - but it was noticeably brighter than Venus, which I used to judge it by, and remained at this intensity for ~ 45 seconds. Slightly past culmination (elev. ~40deg. azim. ~130deg. 21:03 EDT) it began to dim until finally stabilizing again around mag. 2.0 - 2.5 then finally into shadow around 21:04 EDT. Needless to say, my mouth dropped open and I was just stunned. I almost completely forgot about HST, but when I could finally force my eyes off of ISS I noted that HST remained pretty much steady and unspectacular at ~ mag. 2.0. I went bonkers again (like I did the other night when HST flared), tried to get my wife's attention by yelling like an idiot, but she was trying to get our son to sleep. I guess I'm relegated to viewing these spectacular occurrences by myself. <sigh> I wonder if anyone in my rural neighborhood even noticed this or would even care? I've been of course watching ISS when it was just the Zarya module, and never saw it even begin to show any signs of trying to flare in the least - just a normal steady increase in magnitude of 1 or so as it made its predicted nominal pass. I know the flare is attributed to a greater surface area being exposed to the sun (i.e., solar panels, longitudinal axis of the satellite body, etc.) of a given satellite in respect to the observer at a given time and location as the satellite maneuvers locally on axis or changes its position relative to this ground based observer. Is my understanding of this in the ballpark? Was ISS being manipulated possibly at the time I witnessed this particular pass? I have tried several times to witness an Iridium flare, but with no luck. I always enjoyed reading other peoples' accounts of these spectacular events and always hoped to see one. I always thought, seeing one at night would be awesome, but to see one in the daytime, now that would be beyond comprehension - at least to me! But I guess the gods finally felt sorry for me and favored me with not one but two incredible experiences, and within just days of each other. I wasn't really prepared to accurately time the pass or flare duration - I just counted to my self. I'll get my act together soon hopefully, but with a new baby and other obligations, I'm lucky to get outside on time to see anything! I tend to be a verbose person, but I'll try to do better on my notation and ACCURACY! I just really get excited sometimes and need to share the joy with someone, like you folks on this list! Thanks for the patience and the interest - ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Malvin (Mal) Bishop, Jr. 33.0819195N 80.8837905W Elev. 100' ASL e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org ICQ: 32296418 To handle yourself, use your head, To handle others use your heart.