Twinkle, twinkle, little Iridium satellite

…how I wonder what you are!

Iridium 66 flaring above Finland.
Iridium 66 flaring above Finland.

So, here it is, my first ever photograph of an Iridium satellite flare! I catched this last night 5.-6. of August 2014 @ 22:21 UT in Turku, Finland. The brightness of the flare was about -8 magnitudes according to Heavens Above site. And I’m not arguing with HA, so bright it was! The satellite that I catched flaring, was iridium 66. Spotting these satellite flares is an extremely exciting past-time activity! I’m so happy and excited about this observation, that I’m sure to try to catch these again also in the future!

Iridium satellites are a constellation of 66 communications satellite, and they have a special antennae -system that is causing these short, but bright flares. The Iridium -company originally failed with the business, but now they are back to business, this time operated by a different company, Iridium Satellite LLC. The satellites are mostly used by the US military for their communications purposes.


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