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Friday, March 16, 2012

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Iridium flare, magnitude −8.

This image shows a flare of sunlight reflected from the main mission antenna of Iridium 62. The peak of the flare was at 19:33:20 UTC on 2012-03-16 at magnitude −8 as observed from Fourmilab (the flare centre was just 5 km east of where I took this picture). Mars, a passing airplane (its blinking red navigation light is visible) and the hairy constellation of Coma Berenices are visible in the picture. The photo is a 90 second exposure at ISO 160 with a Leica M9 with a SUMMICRON-M 1:2/35 ASPH 35mm lens at f/2. I made the exposure manually with a shutter setting of “B” with a cable release. Here is a map of the sky at the time of the flare courtesy of Your Sky.

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