View Full Version : I found a surprise at the end of the ISS August 19 2011 image series

Andrew Jaremko
2011-Oct-21, 02:14 AM
I downloaded the hires images and was creating a series of shots from the August 19, 2011 from 08:56:00 to 09:22:18 GMT series of images. At the end of the sequence, as the ISS is approaching the terminator and the horizon starts to flare out, I noticed something moving that isn't a star. I made a video showing this. This is my first post here; here (hopefully) is the embedded video:

[Mod Note: We prefer you not embed videos.]

If that doesn't show up, the video is ISS NW US pass of August 19, 2011 with a surprise ending (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJJ3kpI0gYo)

Given the season, as I was working on this the opening of "Monster Mash" was running through my head: "When I was working in the lab, late one night, my eyes beheld an eerie sight, for my monster from his slab had started to rise..."

The 3 Creative Commons license shots that I was creating are here:


I don't know enough about orbits and such to even guess which satellite the camera caught, or how much of a fluke this is. Thanks to NASA and the ISS team for making these available! :)

Andrew Jaremko
2011-Oct-21, 02:41 PM
ufoguy1962 left me a comment on YouTube. He thinks it's an Iridium flare. I hadn't heard of them before, but they seem to fill the bill. I was thinking it might be an e-6 to e-9 event, but they don't seem to be that rare.

2011-Oct-21, 06:17 PM
Well, I think that a classical Iridium event (the sun catching the big flat antennas) is unlikely due to the geometry and low intensity but it sure looks like a reflection from a satellite. While trying to catch ISS from Uppsala, Sweden I caught the beginning of a bright Iridium flare while adjusting the focus. I had my back turned but noticed the flare when I suddenly saw my own shadow! IIRC correctly it was supposed to have been a magnitude -8 or -9 flare at my location.