First Iridium Flare

Robert Bonstein (bonstein@mindspring.com)
Mon, 08 Jun 1998 18:49:49 -0400

	I have just subscribed to this list after a new revival of interest in
satellite viewing.  When STS-91 went up, I was looking forward to seeing it
(as I have 2 or 3 times before) linked with the Mir.  I was disappointed to
see that there were very few good sightings for my area (Atlanta, USA), so
I downloaded STSORBIT Plus to see what my other viewing options were.  On
investigating www.dransom.com and downloading the new element sets, I was
caught by the links about "Iridium Flares."  After looking into it, I
downloaded iridflar.  I was happy to see that I had one or two viewing
opportunities a day for the next few days.  I caught my first flare last
night, and it was Iridium 38 with a Flare angle of .05 and a magnitude of
-8.  It was the coolest night sky event I've seen in my 16 years with the
naked eye.
				Rob Bonstein