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Originally posted by roadgravel
The other night I saw one increase to about magnitude -8.
Originally posted by smalco
As I was star gazing my eye caught a small point that was moving at a constant speed from South to North. I have on numerous occasions seen satellites pass overhead, usually moving from South to North, but this one was rather special. As I followed the movement for more that 10 seconds, the small point grew in size (+/- x 30) and became extremely bright. This lasted for about 5 seconds after which it turned again to the size of a small dot until I lost it out of sight.
Originally posted by yuefo
Are you sure? Venus is mag. -4. The moon is mag. -12.
-8 is extraordinarily bright for a satellite I'd think.
Some of the flares are so bright (some get up to -8 magnitude, but rarely they can get to a brilliant -9.5)  that they can be seen at daytime, but they are most impressive at night.
Originally posted by spacedoubt
Is this similar to what you saw?
Q. What is an Iridium flare?
A. An Iridium flare is caused by the sun being reflected from one of the three main mission antennae (MMA) of an Iridium satellite. The MMAs are flat, highly polished aluminium surfaces, and when the angles are just right, they can reflect the sun just like a mirror. There are over 80 of these communications satellites in orbit, and they are operated by the Iridium LLC Consortium. For more information, please see our Iridium flare help page.
Q. Why are satellites not visible in the middle of the night?
A. Satellites are only visible when they are lit by the sun, but the observer on the ground is already in darkness. These conditions are met only when the sun is below the observer's horizon, but not too far down or the satellites themselves are also in the earth's shadow. So normally, satellites are only visible a few hours after sunset, or before sunrise. In the middle of the night the sun is simply too far below the horizon to light them. In summer however, especially at latitudes far north or south, the sun is never too far down, even at midnight, and satellites can be seen the whole night through.
Originally posted by Xenophobe
The OP stated that the sighting occurred around 1 a.m.
It is my understanding that satellite sightings occur within a couple hours after sunset or a couple hours before sunrise (in all, but the very Northernmost and Southernmost latitudes).
The reason for this is that a satellite must be in a position to reflect sunlight in order for an observer to see it. 1 a.m. would be a bit late for satellite viewing.
[edit on 16-7-2007 by Xenophobe]
Originally posted by smalco
No it wasn't like the video or image provided. It wasn't a flare, nor did it look like a comet/meteorite tail. It remained at all times a dot but did grow rapdily in size and became way brighter to return to its initial state until I lost track of it.