Double Iridium Flare - Satellites catching a Sunbeam

 Download Full Resolution (2048x1369) 2460KB 13,393

'Double Iridium Flare - Satellites catching a Sunbeam'

Double Iridium Flare - Satellites catching a Sunbeam

[Public Domain] 30 Aug 2016 Dylan O'Donnell
CATEGORY : Astrophotography
13,394 others viewed this post.

This is my second attempt at an iridium flare and it turned out great! Iridium communications is a company that launched a grid of satellite clusters that covers the entire planet to provide constant satellite-phone connectivity anywhere. There are about 90 of them, but about 20 of them have died including one that smashed into a Russian satellite in 2009. What you are looking at is sunlight reflecting of the door-sized antennas, glinting directly back into my camera. These flares can be predicted fairly accurately so I knew these two flares would occur within 2 minutes of each other. The bright one on the left is Iridium 37 which is still operational, but the duller on on the right is Iridium 4 which went offline about 4 years ago and has since been replaced with another (they launched enough to have some redundancy built into the grid).

I was lucky to get this because I only decided to run outside 10 minutes before it was due. The camera battery was flashing red and about to die, I had no time to focus or frame the shot. 3 minutes before it happened the ISS went though the frame as well but I didn’t add it to this shot as the exposure was wrong. I took the first shot and got the small flare, took the second shot and got the large flare – and then my camera screen flashed up “CARD FULL”! Talk about a close call. 2 x 30s / f2.8 / ISO 1600 / Canon 70D / Tokina 11mm / Nebulosity + Photoshop CC.

Iridium_satellite
Pictured – An Iridium Satellite.

For kicks.. here is the shot with the ISS going through it just before!

DoubleIridiumFlare-WithISS

 Download Full Resolution (2048x1369) 2460KB


EQUIPMENT DYLAN USED
Here is some of the gear this photo was made with. Click for info

More Astrophotography ...

Space Clouds - M42 Orion
Astrophotography
M17 Omega Nebula Widefield in Broadband Colour
Astrophotography
Tesla Model 3 & The Milky Way
Astrophotography
M8 Lagoon Nebula in True Colour - Free 4k Wallpaper
Astrophotography
The Blue Lagoon (Nebula) - 4K Resolution
Astrophotography
The Busiest Part of the Sky - Our Black Hole
Astrophotography
Close up of the Trifid Nebula (M20)
Astrophotography
NGC6188 Fighting Dragons of Ara
Astrophotography
The Sulphur in NGC 3603 and NGC 3576
Astrophotography
λ Centauri Nebula (IC2944 / Caldwell 100)
Astrophotography
Carina Nebula in Hubble Palette (Rasa 8 First Light)
Astrophotography
The Rose or the Skull? NGC 2237
Astrophotography
M42 Orion Nebula + Running Man (Dust and Gas)
Astrophotography
The Sculptor Galaxy (NGC 253 / Caldwell 65)
Astrophotography
Saturn Swims Amongst the Nebulae
Astrophotography
Antares and the Rho Ophiuchus Region
Astrophotography
Carina and the Keyhole Nebula in 4K
Astrophotography
Centaurus A - The Candle Galaxy
Astrophotography
NGC 2070 The Tarantula Nebula
Astrophotography
Christmas Tree Nebula - NG2264
Astrophotography
Will you Accept this Rose? (NGC2237)
Astrophotography
A Christmas Fire, Horse and Flame
Astrophotography
The Sky Bridge from Horsehead to Orion
Astrophotography
M45 Pleiades (The Subaru Logo)
Astrophotography
Astrophotography Archives ...