Forum Thread: Multiple Iridium Flares

I recently witnessed what certainly looked like three simultaneous Iridium flares very near to one another. Is that possible -- has anyone ever heard of three at a time?

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6 Responses

I think it's completely possible- about what magnitude was it? How close were they?

I've seen one before, but never multiple ones at the same time. I've heard of three at a time, but only during their initial launch, before they dispersed, taken by Paul Maley (below).

Thanks for the responses guys! Sorry I haven't been back for awhile -- I've been crazy busy with work projects -- but I thought maybe a visual would help ID what I saw. 

I looked at some more Iridium flare videos, and the thing that keeps hanging me up is that what I saw didn't move at all -- at least not in any perceptible way.

Forgive the video quality -- it's the film equivalent of a two minute thumbnail sketch. :)

 Keep in mind the transition from 'bright to gone' was very smooth and lasted about 4-5 minutes in total. Thank you once again!

Hmm... right off the bat, the triangle formation makes me think it's one of the NOSS satellite triplets. But usually those would be moving, too (like in the video below). Though it could be possible for them to "seem" stationary, depending on where you're standing on Earth.

Thanks Justin! I'd have to say that after watching the video and following the link you provided, I'm fairly convinced that is what I saw. The shape, visual scale and brightness are certainly close. 

I'm assuming the formation was 'heading right toward me' enough to seem stationary -- and I did continue to slowly walk the dog as I watched the sky. All-in-all, I'm content to call it "answered." Thank you. :)

Glad you consider it solved! :)

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