Iridium Daylight Flare Seen

JRBURCA@aol.com
Fri, 31 Oct 1997 10:59:57 -0500 (EST)

Fellow Iridium Observers:

I just saw my first Iridium daylight flare.  I told a co-worker about
the possibility of seeing it.  He was interested.  We both walked
out of the building about 4 min. before the predicted time.  We 
watched Az. 009 Elev. 72 area of light blue sky for a few minutes.
Neither of us had a watch.  The max. flare was predicted by Rob
Matson's IRIDFLAR to be -6.1 magnitude at 6:31:17 AM PST
(14:31:17 UTC) Oct. 31.  I saw it and exclaimed "There it is!" and
probably a half second later, at most, it was gone.  I don't know 
if I missed the beginning of the unaided eye visibilility period or
not.  Although I prefer "flare" to describe the Iridium sun reflections
off the mirror-like surfaces, in this case, what I perceived might
better be described as a flash because it was so brief.  It was
so quick that my co-worker didn't see it.  In my judgement, it was
perhaps about a second in duration.  Since practically all "seen"
satellites are reflected sunlight, I can now say for the first time
that I've seen a satellite in broad daylight.  Amazing!  Thanks 
Rob for the program making it possible.  BTW, it was Iridium 20.
No binoculars were used, just the unaided eyes (one power).

Jake Rees
Burbank, Calif., USA
(34.164 N, -118.341 W, 190 meters)
Note:  The above coordinates were plugged into IRIDFLAR but
my observing location was about 2 miles south of there.