View Full Version here: : Saw a flash in the sky this morning
19-02-2011, 08:23 PM
at arould 3.30am was up for work and was having a smoke looking at the stars. There was a planet low in the east think it was maybe jupiter. And south of that I then saw a tiny bright flash for a split second and then it was gone. Must have been a satalite flashing in the sunlight
19-02-2011, 08:37 PM
Hi Matt, the Planet you saw was Venus as Jupiter is in the evening sky setting just after eight oclock tonight.
Yes you saw a common sight of a satellite flashing in the morning sky if one chances to be up at that time.:thumbsup:
19-02-2011, 08:57 PM
You saw what is commonly called an Iridium Flare. www.heavens-above.com can predict flares and tell you which one went off.
MOTM many satellites flare not just Iridium's, I have seen the HST flare on a few occasions, awesome sight it was very bright.
19-02-2011, 09:42 PM
Hi Malcolm, I purposely did not put an Iridium Satellite as I had checked and there was none predicted for that time this morning;)
Lots of Satellites flair :thumbsup:
19-02-2011, 09:49 PM
I have never seen a satellite flare, so I wasn't aware. I suppose it is logical as an Iridium Flare is just a satellite.
20-02-2011, 12:20 AM
How far south of Venus? How bright?
CdC 3.3 together with the latest TLE from SpaceTrack gives me, as best bet, Cosmos 2227 (rocket component), at predicted mag 2.2
There were two Iridium flares predicted for Maroochydore on the 19th, at 19:54 (mag -1.0) and 19:58 (mag 1.4).
For here I have two Iridium flare predictions at about -8 for the 24th
20-02-2011, 11:56 AM
Iridium Communications Inc. (formerly Iridium Satellite LLC) is a company, based in McLean, VA, United States which operates the Iridium satellite constellation, a system of 66 active satellites used for worldwide voice and data communication from hand-held satellite phones and other transceiver units. The Iridium network is unique in that it covers the whole Earth, including poles, oceans and airways. The company derives its name from the chemical element iridium. The number of satellites projected in the early stages of planning was 77, the atomic number of iridium, evoking the metaphor of 77 electrons orbiting the nucleus.
The satellites are frequently visible in the night sky as satellite flares, a phenomenon typically observed as short-lived bright flashes of light.
20-02-2011, 05:27 PM
And of couse Iridium is an element found almost exclusively in meteorites, hence the discovery of an iridium rich layer led to the current impact theory to explain the KT extinction event 65,000,000 year ago.
See how everything links up!
20-02-2011, 07:14 PM
Well if I held my hand up and lined it up with venus then id say maybe 1 and a half hand widths south! I do remember a satelite moving across the sky near venus for about 2 seconds then it went dark and i couldnt see it anymore. Then maybe 1 min later I saw the quick but very bright flash south of that location. But looked to bright to be sunlight comming off a satelite!
20-02-2011, 07:35 PM
Matt some satellites such as the HST and ISS plus many others can reflect light twice or more as bright as Venus,upto about Magnitude -9.
What you saw was definitely a Satellite:thumbsup:
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