Re: Daytime Iridium flares

Bjoern Gimle (b_gimle@algonet.se)
Mon, 13 Sep 1999 17:28:02 +0200 (CEST)

> Hello everyone
> 
> On the GSOC site, they give predictions for daytime Iridium flares
> ....
> However, I wasn't able to observe the flares; since I have no problem
> observing nighttime flares, I assumes I was looking at the right azimuth
> and elevation; I was standing near a corner of the house to block the
> sun as much as possible.
> 
> So I wonder, is there any special techniques to observe daytime flares ?

I have been successful in about six out of twelve attempts.
You must be looking very close to the right spot.
A compass, and an angle gauge helps. Even better is finding
the spot at night, XX hours earlier, at the same declination
but Right Ascension = that of the flare - XX hours.

In both cases you need fixed objects, like a tree or a roof
, and a spot where you stand, to keep your eyes at the right
spot.

Keep time correctly - if you start too early, you'll see
flashes generated in your eye, or from neck strain, and
you will be tempted to look away to rest.

The flare is only 2-4 seconds long, while at sufficient
brightness. Practice by finding Jupiter (or Venus) near
sunset (sunrise), and see how easy it is to find it again,
if you have a landmark !





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