Update on GSOC Iridium Flare Predictions

Chris Peat (Chris.Peat@dlr.de)
Tue, 19 May 1998 16:04:49 +0200

I would like to announce to the group that we have made a number of
improvements to the GSOC Web site's Iridium flare predictions. Here are the
new features;

A page has been added giving the Iridium flares which have occured over the
last 48 hours. This has been requested by several people who wanted to check
out chance observations made the previous evening. There are now a total of
3 pages giving flare predictions for the last 48 hours, next 24 hours and
next 7 days. In the future I will be adding the option to specify a time
range (but with a restricted duration, of course).

Each flare prediction page now has two new columns, and the mirror angle
column is gone. The new columns are the distance to the nearest "ground
zero" and the magnitude of the flare at ground zero. The idea is to allow
people to decide whether or not it's worthwhile making the journey. Not all
flare centre lines intersect the Earth's surface, and so there not always a
ground zero, which you will see indicated in these cases.

Clicking on the time of the flare will bring up a new page giving more
details of that particular flare, including the coordinates of ground zero,
and a small map showing where it is relative to your home location. The map
also shows the track of the  flare centre along the ground, and which
direction it is moving (usually N-S or S-N).

On 19th May, 1998  Tony Beresford wrote:
> I think Chris Peat can confirm the GSOC predictions filter out all
> which dont have MM=14.342, so it wouldnt have considered iridium 5.

We have now modified our selection criteria, and include a flag which is
manually set to indicate a valid flarer. We no longer use the MM as a guide.
I have cleared the flag for Iridium 5 so that it will not appear in the
predictions. If I get more positive reports that it is behaving properly
again, I will put it back into the list.


Chris Peat, Anite Systems
Currently working at the German Space Operations Centre near Munich