Monday, 21 May 2012

Iridium Flare

Iridium Satellites are known for producing particularly bright flare effects as the sun reflects off them, as they move quickly through low earth orbit. I've often seen them, regularly pointing them out at Perth Observatory viewing nights, but I've never photographed one, until now!

As luck would have it, my shutter was open and camera pointing the right direction! Without knowing it was going to happen, an Iridium satellite passed nicely through the field of view, between the pointers - Alpha and Beta Centauri.  Check out the resulting photograph:



See other astrophotography from the weekend here.

If you are out near sunset it's hard to not see a satellite go overhead and usually there will be one or two which are quite bright. You can find predictions of when the best will be visible at the Heavens Above site. The most common bright satellites you will see are the International Space Station (ISS) and Iridium satellites.

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