Iridium 15 flare

Jeff Hunt (jhunt@radix.net)
Tue, 4 Nov 97 09:36:36

A good view of Jupiter (although a tree house wouldn't be needed) wouldn't 
be a bad idea either ;-)

Had a beautiful view of a mag -2 flare from Iridium 15/24869/97034A last 
evening at around 23:06:45 UT when it was within 5 degrees of Jupiter. It 
had to be as bright as Jupiter. The sky was not totally dark (Sun -12 deg) 
and I was able to pick up Ir 15 slightly pass zenith at around mag 7 with 
binocs. It slowly became mag 6 or greater as the percent illumination 
increased until, as predicted by Rob Matson's program, it flared to around 
the brightness (~5sec) of Jupiter itself close-by.

Has anyone tried to figure out the diameter of the flare events. Off hand it 
looks like the diameter of a minimum mag -2 flare would have been around 36 
km as the center of the flare was about 18 km to the west of here.

I was thinking of alerting a Washington D.C. TV news station who is good on 
promoting Mir passes, but the relatively small diameter of the flare would 
probably disappoint a lot of viewers within a 80 km radius of the broadcast.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jeff Hunt, Charlotte Hall, Md. USA 38.51N, 76.76W 
<jhunt@radix.net>

--- On Tue, 4 Nov 1997 09:50:10 +0200 (GMT+0200)  Willie Koorts 
<wpk@saao.ac.za> wrote in part earlier:

>If fact as we speak (4 Nov) the Moon is only 9 degrees South of Venus!  
>This is where Leigh Palmers suggestion of putting a treetop where you 
>expect Venus/Iridium to be/glint comes in so handy.