Glad I could help
, ive seen the ISS before but this was at least twice as fast as the previous ISS sighting I had (same directly over head flight
path to boot), I first said to myself, hey the ISS, then errr that's too fast. Yep Iridium Flares are damn neat.
Yep, I already did what you mentioned last night, I used my exact (give or take 500 meters
) geographical location, the angels it gave me where
10/30/10 in a WSW/NW/N direction, the problem is my sighting was 1 hour earlier than the time they gave along with the fact it was a 10/90/10 in a
SW/errr vertical/ NW flight path. I used the GMT +12 for New Zealand but we are outside Daylight saves currently so it should have been correct.
The Sun had set a good 20-30 minutes, but the sky in the west was a fuzzy grey, ie there was light just not a whole lot of it. Not sure of the ISS
orbital distance but given how long the sun had set and the fact that even when it was a full 140 degrees across the sky (ie 40-50 degrees elevation
from vanishing over the horizon) it was still extremely bright (venus bright) and it should have been in Earth shadow by then Which is what also made
me query it, since my first confirmed ISS sighting the sun was higher (just recently set, with nice grey gold glow on the horizon) and in that
sighting it faded out at about an angle of 70 degrees... hence why I cant quite dismiss this as an ISS sighting, although it sure fits the bill in
Yeah this was the brightest object ive seen so far not sure how much work they have done on the ISS since i saw it two years ago but it was ALOT
brighter this time around.
As to the light your talking about, we had last spring a real bright star in the sky for a long time, im sure it was venus, although ive never seen it
before and other times ive seen venus it sets bellow the horizon alot faster than this one did, which would often be visible well into the night and
some nights it never set, might be the same star/planet your talking about since given its winter here and the star isnt visible the shift of the
earth probably moved it into your hemisphere?. must admit though that star last spring was the first time id seen it, we might be in a quirky solar
orbit that keeps Venus up longer than normal at the moment. no idea otheriwse.
yes the flash this object gave off could easily be an iridium flare since ive seen alot of them before, the thing is it was a very breif but bright
one basically a single second, most Iridium flares ive seen have built up over a few seconds and faded out. not sure how fast the ISS tumbles compared
to other satellites but i guess it could have been a small panel that could have done it.
First Iridium flare i ever saw was basically a max magnitude one directly above me... nothing more pant poopering than watching a satellite then
suddenly having it flare up for 3 seconds into a huge light as if someone 50 feet away was shining a torch in your eyes
made my night since it was
totally unexpected. All my iridium Flare sightings (ive had about 10) have all been by chance, heck i saw a blue/green bollide(sp?) burn up that left
a long greenish streek behind it as it (slowly for a meteor) streaked across the sky a few years ago... even saw a shooting star break up into sparks
at Christmas, thing is I had only just stepped out the door and looked up and immediately it happened in the center of my vision.
Guess im just lucky
not sure what that would be (maybe two satellites and different altitudes?, where they following the same flight path?) although it sounds similar to
something I saw middle of 07.
Mine didnt fade out at different times but i had 4 satellite strength lights moving in a line south to north, if you took 3 lights stuck one behind
the other about 1 cm apart (at arms length) with another third light 2 cm's (at arms length) behind the others in a perfect line... and then add
another fourth light in line with the second light but 2 cm (at arms length) to the left of it and all 4 lights where moving together and the same
speed, and they didnt converge or cross paths but kept exactly in line with each other.
Lasted about 15 seconds from spotting them to before they hit cloud on the horizon to the north.
Now they could have been satellites, but ive never ever in my entire life of spotting satellites seen 4 together in the same perfect direction, that
close together in formation (in fact ive never seen them in formation) . Ive tried looking up info on satellite formation but seems they are only
singles as far as i know/find.
So that sightings a definite question mark.
Amazing what you can spot just looking up
... although i envy you guys in America with your meteor showers.. nothing like that happens here in New
Zealand, although we can see the Large Magellan Cloud
with the naked eye down here
(nothing like being able to see a huge fuzzy galaxy out your window at night without a telescope
Overall ill go with the ISS explanation since its the one that fits the most criteria, all the same, was a neat thing to see.
Pitty its cloudy
here, since I could see a mag 3 ISS at roughly the same angle as it should have been last night... unfortunately i cant corroborate it now (damn
will just have to wait till next time i guess.
Edit:- opps forgot to say thanks for the input people
[edit on 30-8-2009 by BigfootNZ]
[edit on 30-8-2009 by BigfootNZ]