- The Chicago Astronomer -
Copyright 2004-2014 All rights reserved by Joseph Guzman Administrator/Founder/Chief Astronomer.
All text and images are the property of the original authors/artists and shall
not be used without permission.
Post by Chicago Astronomer Joe on Apr 22, 2010 23:56:53 GMT -6
An incredible Iridium 37 Flare observed at the Adler 09 April 2010
The Adler Planetarium has a cool activity for the younger crowd called "Astro Overnights". Where Boyscouts, Girlscouts and other groups can spend the night at the Planetarium.
Sounds pretty good to me as well...
On April 9th, 2010, we were working telescopes for the scouts, when Stephan Szyman - a member of the Chicago Astronomical Society told me that there would be a magnificent Iridium Flare later in the evening.
As the time approached, an announcement was made...
...and a great many people crowded the South Observation Terrace. We made an educated guess on where it would be....and we got it right.
Appearing at around 9:18 pm and about 50/60 or so degrees high it was observed travelling south in the NE sky - dim at first, but many saw it early. Then as if someone flicked a switch...it brightened up dramatically...an incredible -8 in magnitude it was estimated.
The crowd oohed and awed as the satellite reflected the sun's light on it's solar panels- making a great event for all of us.
Another member of the Chicago Astronomical Society, Terry Mack videoed the crowd's reactions to the flare...
(You can see me in the forefront by the 3" refractor and Stephan in front, guiding the crowd of on-lookers.)
This was one of the brightest Iridium Flares I have ever seen, (unfortunately, the video does not show it), and thank Stephen for bringing this to our attention - making a good night of observing a great memorable one!