Re: Iridium Flare lights up clouds?

Tyler MacKenzie (
Mon, 6 Apr 1998 07:26:49 -0300 (ADT)

Igor G. Rozivika wrote:
The sky was clear, but the ground had small fog. The small cloud was
appreciable around a flash. The layer of a fog was rather thick, and I
distinctly saw, as reflected ray of Iridium49 has passed slightly
south-west me.
I've also seen a bright flare through slight fog last fall. That night,
there was a fogbank moving inshore from the Atlantic (to the south) such
that the limiting magnitude at the flare's altitude was about +2.  I was
quite surprized to see a -6.2 flare from Iridium 18 (didn't know what they
were at the time). I distinctly saw a glow around it, not a halo as from
high altitude ice crystals, but that very local scattering from fog.
Though the center of the "beam" passed about 4.4 kilometers east of me,
I didn't see any projected ray (then again, I wasn't looking; this was my
first --and very accidental-- Iridium flare, and I was thinking it must be
space junk/sky falling...)

Tyler (Joe Stats) MacKenzie
Department of Oceanography, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada
44.636N 63.595W 50m ASL