Iridium flare will dazzle early morning risers on the Gold Coast tomorrow

April 27, 2014 | By | 2 Comments
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(Posted 27 April 2014) An Iridium flare approximately 39 times brighter than Venus (currently visible in the morning sky) will dazzle the eyes of early morning risers on the Gold Coast tomorrow morning (Monday 28 April 2014).

-8 magnitude Iridium flare (c) 2009 Paul Floyd

-8 magnitude Iridium flare (c) 2009 Paul Floyd

The flare will occur at 4:55 am AEST (4:55.02 am AEST to be precise) and last only a few seconds. To see the flare, you will just need to look South (towards New South Wales) at this time and to the left of the two ‘Pointer Stars’ (also known as Hadar and Rigil Kentaurus) at this time. See below finder chart for the location of the flare.

Venus, Moon, Neptune and Uranus finder chart for 5 am AEST Saturday 26 April 2014. Chart prepared for the Gold Goast (Mermaid Beach, Queeensland), Australia but will still be accurate for elsewhere in Eastern Australia. Chart prepared using the highly recommended Sky Safari Pro tablet app. Used with permission

Iridium flare finder chart for Monday 28 April 2014 4:55:02 am AEST. Chart prepared for the Gold Coast (Mermaid Beach, Queensland), Australia.Chart prepared using the highly recommended Sky Safari Pro tablet app. Used with permission

Iridium flares (more information on Wikipedia) are caused by sunlight reflecting off the communications antenna on the Iridium series of satellites. These orbit the Earth in a fixed orientation which allow the flares to be predicted in advance. Information on this specific flare can be found here on Heavens-Above.com.

Note that the further you are from center line of the Iridium flare (Mermaid Beach, Gold Coast, Queensland) the fainter the flare will become.

 

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This website is maintained by Paul Floyd. I am an amateur astronomer (and school teacher) with 25 years experience (as at 2015) in running a range of education and public astronomy outreach activities. As of January 2015, I have been providing astronomy information via the WWW for eighteen years.