Re: Iridium flare seen in England

Robert Sheaffer (
Mon, 1 Sep 1997 22:59:13 -0700 (PDT)

Ron Lee
> Just saw this in the sci.astro.amateur newsgroup:
> Last night (26 Aug 197) at 21.22 UTC I saw something I couldn't identify,
> and I wonder if anyone has a clue. There was a bright object at about the
> southeast border of Cassiopeia. Over a space of a few seconds it grew
> brighter to about mag -5 to -6 (although I'm *hopeless* at estimating
> magnitudes) -- it was quite a bit brighter than Venus at its brightest. It
> then rapidly faded beyond naked eye visibility over a period of, say, 15
> seconds. It was as it was fading that I saw that it was moving slowly
> southeast. The direction was suggestive of a polar orbit satellite, but the
> speed was much slower that other polar orbit satellites I have seen. To the
> naked eye there was no sign of any ionisation trail that I have observed
> with bright meteors. There was no discernible aircraft noise.
> Makes you wonder if we will hear UFO reports because of the Iridium flares.

Sounds like we already have!

Actually, this possibility occurred to me as soon as I heard about the
flares. I'm now at work on a second edition of my book, _The UFO
Verdict_, first published in 1981. I'll have to put in something
about the Iridium sats, as I think this situation will be with us
for a LONG time!!


        Robert Sheaffer - - Skeptical to the Max!
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