Ir 26 Flare Thru Clouds

Jim Varney (
Wed, 1 Apr 1998 20:45:12 -0800

Observed Iridium 26 tonight at 0328 UT to look for a predicted mag -6 flare.
A few minutes before the predicted time a fast-moving layer of stratocumulus
made the sky at least 90% overcast.  These clouds were thick enough to make
Regulus invisible.

Even with the clouds I thought I would stick with it.  Glad I did.  The
flare was very brief -- no more than 2 seconds -- but was surprisingly
bright considering it pierced the cloud layer.  I judged the flare to reach
mag -1 or so.  I did not see any trace of halo or other scattering; just a
moving blue-white point of light embedded in the cloud.

Jim Varney     121.398 W, 38.458 N, 8m     Sacramento, Calif.
Member, Sacramento Valley Astronomical Society