One of the last Iridium flares

Only a few of the original, sometimes-glinting Iridium satellites are still in low Earth orbit. They have 3 reflective panels that occasionally catch the sun and produce a visible flare lasting between 5 and 20 seconds.

Bright streak of iridium flare in dark starry sky, plus inset showing orbital paths over Earth and sky maps.

View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Bright iridium flare, with an inset showing the track of the Iridium satellite over the photographer’s location. Michael Holland Sr. in Lakeland, Florida, wrote: “I was able to capture one of the few remaining Iridium satellites that have the ability to reflect (flare) under the right conditions. February 25, 2019 @ 8:08 p.m. EST looking NNE.” Thanks, Michael!

Read more: So long, Iridium flares

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Deborah Byrd