flash in sky

A place to hang out and chat about astronomy

flash in sky

Postby Mollymoo01 » Sat Aug 27, 2016 5:37 pm

Hi all I live in north west England im not really big on sky watching but last Tuesday night me and a friend were looking up to see if we could see satelites as it was a clear night. We both seen this little flash in the sky like the flash of electric arc, it was deep space and both of us seen it. did anyone else see it.Does anyone have any idea what it could have been. I have never seen anything like this before.
Mollymoo01
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2016 5:25 pm

Re: flash in sky

Postby Gfamily2 » Sat Aug 27, 2016 7:49 pm

Mollymoo01 wrote:Hi all I live in north west England im not really big on sky watching but last Tuesday night me and a friend were looking up to see if we could see satelites as it was a clear night. We both seen this little flash in the sky like the flash of electric arc, it was deep space and both of us seen it. did anyone else see it.Does anyone have any idea what it could have been. I have never seen anything like this before.


Hi
To try and pin down what you saw it'll be helpful to know...
How long did the flash last for, a fraction of a second (like a camera flash), a second or two, or several seconds, or longer?
Was the flash stationary, or did it seem to move at all?
Was it a steady brightness or did it fade in or fade out - or did it brighten suddenly at the end?
How bright was it compared to the brightest stars you could see?
The main possibilities are a meteor or a satellite, but to be honest it's probably going to be hard to be specific.

You can get meteors that are heading straight towards you which wouldn't produce a 'trail' as such, and you can get 'Iridium' satellites that only produce what looks like a 'flash' rather than showing movement across the sky.
Scopes: Meade 8" SCT, Skywatcher 127mm Mak, Raffle winner of SW ST80
For imaging: Pentax K5, Asda webcam, Star Adventurer (new toy)
For companionship: Mid Cheshire Astronomical Group.
(Not a moderator)
Gfamily2
 
Posts: 507
Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2015 10:38 pm

Re: flash in sky

Postby david48 » Wed Oct 12, 2016 4:38 pm

Without doubt a reflecting satellite, or meteor, as Gf says.
david48
 
Posts: 173
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2012 7:13 pm

Re: flash in sky

Postby Aratus » Thu Oct 13, 2016 11:05 pm

I would agree. A normally dim, or even invisible satellite can sometimes reflect the sun off a solar panel, or some such. The result is a flash lasting anything from a fraction of a second to several seconds. I have recorded such a flash on a photograph. Sometimes they can be predicted, and I know of astronomers who wait up to see such flashes. The 'Iridium' series of satellites are notorious 'flashers' :o
I use an 11" reflector (Celestron CPC 1100) and a 3" refractor, (Sky-Watcher ST80) mounted on an equatorial wedge, housed in a 2.2m Pulsar observatory. I use a ZWO ASI 120MM, ZWO ASI1600MC and Canon 1300D for imaging.
Aratus
 
Posts: 934
Joined: Tue Jan 12, 2016 2:17 pm
Location: East Lincolnshire

Re: flash in sky

Postby DominicMoore » Mon Nov 19, 2018 11:01 am

Yes, we can see satellites in particular orbits as they pass overhead at night. Viewing is best away from city lights and in cloud-free skies. The satellite will look like a star steadily moving across the sky for a few minutes. If the lights are blinking, you probably are seeing a plane, not a satellite.
Satellites do not have their own lights that make them visible. What you will see is sunlight being reflected off the satellite, often off the large solar arrays that provide power to the satellites.
These satellites are very high above Earth, about 200 to 300 miles so, while you are in the night darkness, the satellite can still be illuminated by the sun. Eventually, the satellite will fly into the Earth’s shadow and then suddenly disappear from view.
DominicMoore
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Nov 12, 2018 2:22 pm

Re: flash in sky

Postby lukejamie07 » Fri Jan 18, 2019 6:00 pm

Wow,Its really interesting to see.I would like to see this.
lukejamie07
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2019 5:52 pm

Re: flash in sky

Postby Gfamily2 » Fri Jan 18, 2019 7:58 pm

lukejamie07 wrote:Wow,Its really interesting to see.I would like to see this.

Hi and welcome

Have a look at this website, which will show you where and when to look for "Iridum Flares", which can be the brightest satellite flashes.
However, when you first open the site, you'll need to add your location to get an accurate location and re-select Irdium Flares from the menu as shown below
https://www.heavens-above.com/IridiumFlares.aspx

IF.PNG
IF.PNG (16.19 KiB) Viewed 361 times
Scopes: Meade 8" SCT, Skywatcher 127mm Mak, Raffle winner of SW ST80
For imaging: Pentax K5, Asda webcam, Star Adventurer (new toy)
For companionship: Mid Cheshire Astronomical Group.
(Not a moderator)
Gfamily2
 
Posts: 507
Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2015 10:38 pm

Re: flash in sky

Postby Graeme1858 » Sat Jan 19, 2019 9:56 am

You'll have to be quick though, the Iridium constellation is being replaced with Iridium Next satellites which are smaller and don't flare.

http://www.skyatnightmagazine.com/news/ ... e-end-2018

They won't all disappear right away though as quite a few are no longer in communication but still in orbit.
_______________________________________
Miranda 10x50 Binoculars
Skywatcher Dobsonian 10"
Celestron Nexstar Evolution 9.25"
Graeme1858
 
Posts: 208
Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2018 2:32 pm
Location: Kent, UK, 51°28’N 0°38’E


Return to General

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron