Re: Was this an iridium flare?

From: Patrice Scattolin (
Date: Wed Mar 06 2002 - 17:56:06 EST

  • Next message: Pinizzotto,Russell: "Was this an iridium flare?"

    gacrowell wrote:
    >19:05:51 EST, magnitude -5, altitude 23 degrees, azimuth 317 degrees, from
    >Iridium 31.
    >I also found that the flare track would be ascending, headed from WNW to N.
    >If the aircraft were headed NW towards the airport (I don't have those
    >details of the report), the flare would have been directly in front of him.
    >I figure the time reported in the article might have been the time the
    >report was made, so it matches pretty well.
    >So, its my thought, that to the pilot, the flare might have looked like a
    >small rocket exhaust nearby.  Is this plausible?  I would value any
    I am not a guru SatObs but I have seen Iridium flares from the ground.
        yes: according to your position and magnitude it's plausible
        no:   an Iridium flare is really a "beacon lighing up" just like a 
    bright star or venus
                so there would be no contrails or size to the object. It 
    really depends
                what the pilot saw exactly.
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    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Wed Mar 06 2002 - 17:57:40 EST