neighbor sees his 1st flare

From: Tom Wagner (
Date: Fri Jun 20 2003 - 11:56:27 EDT

  • Next message: Robert Reeves: "Re: neighbor sees his 1st flare"

    I rushed out last evening to watch a -6 Iridium flare and as I was getting
    my bearings, a local college professor came by while walking his dogs.
    We've met before, in front of my place in similar circumstances, but while I
    was watching for the ISS to fly by.  This was a special event because the
    flare was going to be in twilight, what to me is the most beautiful of
    I pointed at Jupiter, between the many trees in our neighborhood and
    explained how the flare would be much brighter that it yet. Then, after we
    made our way to a clearing down the road, just past the street light, we
    waited.  Forty eight seconds after my atomic alarm clock began to beep the
    flare brightened rapidly in the still, dark blue sky. My visitor saw it
    first and exclaimed, "There!"  Then I caught it too as it brightened nicely
    and just as quickly faded away.  After it was over he was so excited that he
    reached out to shake hands!
    It's always a pleasure to treat someone new to this sport of predicting and
    watching things as simple as a fleck of white sunlight shining down from
    space.  There's something about it that thrills most people in ways that
    cannot be explained but must be experienced first hand.
    Wishing clear skies for everyone,
    Tom  Iowa  USA
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