re: Spectacular USA 86 blue flare

From: Walter Nissen (
Date: Tue Mar 07 2000 - 06:12:21 PST

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    Daniel Deak writes: 
    > I was treated with a spectacular sight.  In about 5 seconds, its
    > brightness rose to at least -6 or -7 at 00:11:26 UT (Mar. 7) and the
    > colour was light blue, something I've never seen with Iridium flares !
    > The maximum lasted for a couple of seconds.  It was the most
    > spectacular flare I've ever seen.
    Truly remarkable!  Thanks so much for providing the observational
    Perhaps not quite as spectacular, another large satellite with a
    reputation for extremely bright glints is:
    UARS             9.8  4.6  0.0  4.2 v   46
    1 21701U 91063B   00062.22664429 +.00001611 +00000-0 +15591-3 0 01112
    2 21701 056.9826 080.2609 0005840 104.8128 255.3568 14.97977609463113
    Thanks to Mike McCants, NASA Goddard's OIG and US SPACECOM for this elset. 
    Last evening, 2000-03-07 005823.37, about 10 degrees below right of
    Aldebaran, it shot enough photons into my eye to reach magnitude -2, and
    did so while I had a plain view of Jupiter, Rigel, etc., making me very
    confident -2 is the right estimate, not -1 and not -3. 
    Mir, which lately has developed a reputation for bright glints, as the
    solar panels are no longer so consistently collimated toward the Sun(?),
    is currently making spectacular passes at mid-Northern latitudes.
    These glints are not easily (or at all) predictable, so the key is to do
    a lot of observing.  Wonders may come your way.
    Walter Nissen         
    -81.8637, 41.3735, 256m elevation
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