April 13, 2012

A Bright Pre-Easter Surprise

An elusive iridium flare. Nearly as elusive as posts to my blog have become!

This one was a kinda wimpy one as flares go, only reaching a brightness of -2 or so, about the same as the brightest planet in the sky right now, Venus.

It was good natured enough to take place right near the big dipper as you can see. It also avoided the nearly full and very bright moon which was lighting up the clouds.

I took this at the astronomy open house from the roof of the Bob Wright Building at UVic. Since the satellite takes about 45 seconds to go from invisible to peak brightness and back to invisible, and it is moving across the sky very quickly it is very hard to take a picture of a flare and time it right so you get the whole thing in the exposure.

If you look closely you can see that I bumped the camera a little as I was taking my hand from the shutter. It gave the left bit a little bit of a wobble.

I have some new photos to share, and after my exam tonight I may go out and capture some more if it stays clear. I hope to be back on track with posting now.

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