Iridium flares

irid54.jpg.jpg

Iridium 54 on June 11, 2000 at 23:35 local (Mid Europe Summer Time) from Neuenhaus, Germany (52.5N/6.97E). 20 second exposure with AGFA XRG 100. (photo by Christoph Lohuis)

Iridium flares” are bright flashes of sunlight reflected by the satellites that comprise the constellation powering the mostly defunct global wireless phone network.

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6 Responses to Iridium flares

  1. Bevatron Repairman says:

    You can get predictions of Iridium Flares (and most other visible satellite passes at http://www.heavens-above.com. Neat-o site.

  2. nairobired says:

    my dad’s been freakin out about these for years. i think thats one of his favorite things to do, lounge in the pool and look for iridium flashes all night.

  3. Anonymous says:

    “defunct” You haven’t done much traveling. A lot a places where it’s the only phone available – especially over 75% of the planet – at sea.

  4. DSMVWL THS says:

    Mostly defunct? I know they lost 1 satellite to collision with a Russian craft, but I thought they’d already moved a replacement into position.

  5. muteboy says:

    #1 seconded. Heavens-above is a great site, with charts and graphs telling you what you can see tonight.
    http://heavens-above.com

  6. dculberson says:

    I’m also confused by the “mostly defunct” bit. They’re still in use and even have a second generation of satellite in the works.

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