Re: Double Iridium Flare

From: Art Glick (
Date: Sat May 14 2005 - 18:56:27 EDT

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    At 05:38 PM 5/14/2005 -0400, Dana in Antarctica wrote:
    >I am seeing double flares. In fact I have been seeing double flares all 
    >day while walking my 3 miles to my outer buildings. There is the initial 
    >flare that looks like they usually do and then the satellite almost 
    >disappears for about 15 seconds and then it flares again, but slightly 
    >less intense.
    >Have either of you seen this? I have only seen double flares at the same 
    >time by two satellites.
    Howdy to Dana at the South Pole, Tom in Iowa, Gerhard in Africa and other 
    Not only have we seen a double flare from an Iridium more than once, but 
    one happened to be a double-double!  Here's the report I made to some local 
    friends, also amateur astronomers on 18 December 2004...
    >You fellows have no one to blame if you missed this one.  It was a 
    >double-double!  As Iridium 3 started to fade into view, I noticed a 
    >satellite following a few degrees behind apparently overtaking I-3 from a 
    >lower orbit.
    >As I-3 brightened to -8 (at least! my retina still has an after image!) 
    >and faded, the lower satellite, apparently a spare Iridium in a parking 
    >orbit, brightened to at least -6.  As they started to fade, they both then 
    >re-brightened to at least -1 or -2!
    >Wow!  My family is rather jaded about these (you've seen one -8 flare, 
    >you've seen them all), but Stacy is home and came out to watch with me, 
    >and she's still saying "wow"!
    >Sorry if you missed it.  Hope you didn't!
    >Best Regards,
    >18 Dec at
    >18:36:19 (EST)
    >-8 Mag
    >52° Alt
    >41° Az (NE )
    >1.5 km (W) to center (from here)
    >Iridium 3
    We never did identify the second Iridium, but it was an unforgettable 
    Best Regards,
    Art Glick
    Cordova  WV
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