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Friday, October 08, 2010


Captured! An Iridium Flare and Jupiter

A -6.7 magnitude flare captured from suburban Largs North, Adelaide SA at 21:07 and a bit, 8 October 2010. Click to embiggen (can you find Uranus next to Jupiter?)

Yay! Success! After my last attempt at alerting people to a quirky satellite phenomenon, I managed to get this one right. After a cloudy day, Hughie blew the clouds away at sunset.

I tried something different this time. My telescope has an attachment to alow piggybacking a camera on it. So I mounted the camera and turned the tracking drive on.

This resulted in significantly less trailing in the images, but you can see the top of the scope in the image. Can do too much about the suburban sky-glow either. The camera is a Canon IXUS IS, ISO 400, 15 seconds exposure, F5.0. I used my bushwalking GPS to give me timing accurate to a fraction of a second.

And, yes. I not only got to see the flare (rather than peering intently at the timer and fiddling with gear while it occurs), but I got to capture it as well.

I was not the only one. Dean Male sent in this image viewed from Blackwood, SA (copyright Dean Male, so play nice). You need to click on it to embiggen for irridiumly goodness. He says:

Jupiter (due East) is the locator device at lower frame, generously provided by Gods of Serendipity.

This picture is direct from a Nikon 50D, 28-200 lens at f10, bulb exposure, no filtering or processing.

How was everybody else's flare?

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Thanks SO much for the heads up - we're near Blackwood SA too and for once the clouds were absent and we dutifully went out at the appointed time and . . . wow! VERY kewl! Our first Iridium Flare! Cheers!
I did not get to see the flare. could it be a comet? I love astronomy.
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