Re: Starlink Flare Hypothesis

From: Bob King via Seesat-l <seesat-l_at_satobs.org>
Date: Tue, 21 Apr 2020 10:53:24 -0500
Hi everyone,

I watched a parade of Starlink satellites pass by in moderately bright
twilight (about 30-45 minutes after sunset) from Duluth, Minn. Most were
around magnitude 1.5 at peak but several flared to 0 and brighter. One in
particular grew brighter than Venus — which was nearby — and looked exactly
like one of the old Iridium flares. My daughter and I could not believe our
eyes. I would estimate its brightness at magnitude -5.

Thanks,
Bob

On Sun, Apr 19, 2020 at 10:52 PM Brad Young via Seesat-l <
seesat-l_at_satobs.org> wrote:

> Tony, a few comments...
>
> "If the azimuth of the flaring satellites and that of the Sun were
> approximately equal, then they are probably alike".
>
> Although the brightest flares and more regularly occurring ones have been
> in the NW, they have not always flared in the "sweet spot" and they flared
> on lesser occasions back when the sun's azimuth was significantly less
> (i.e. winter)
>
> "In any case, it is very interesting that Starlink flares now seem to be
> almost common. I am not aware of any flares being reported before this
> month. Perhaps other people know of them?"
>
> I agree they are more common lately (although tonight was a bust), but
> there have been quite a few previously. The difference is that all of the
> recent bright flares have been brighter, and more like the MMA flares from
> Iridiums and a few others. The previous flares and the short ones like the
> one seen tonight are similar to panel flares or flashes.
>
> One thing is for sure - the answer is going to require a lot more data. I
> am not an analyst, but I would think StarLink is still testing, which may
> change the mirror angles and they may not be lined out for a while. I
> certainly hope that they are working on DarkerSat.
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Received on Tue Apr 21 2020 - 10:54:13 UTC

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