Entries tagged as flare

Last look of Tiangong-1 with Iridium 80

Tiangong-1 (top left) and Iridium 80 (center) seen in the northern sky

Tiangong-1, the first Chinese space station, is set to fall back to Earth around April 2. Its orbit had been slowly decaying since its service was ended in 2016. I found out that it would be visible for one last time in the sky this morning, so me and my daughter Celine decided to witness its streak. I set up my iPhone X on a tripod and placed it on the window facing north. Then I launched NightCap Camera app in satellite capturing mode.

Shortly after 5:30AM, Tiangong-1 made its bright (-0.6 magnitude, 181km altitude) appearance from the west, streaking towards east and quickly dimming. Just as it disappeared from our eyesight, another bright flash appeared to the east of Polaris and then quickly disappeared. From my experience I knew that was an Iridium flare. CalSky website verified it to be Iridium 80, showing up at 5:30:36AM with a magnitude of -2.0. We were very lucky to see the two together - since the space station will disappear in a couple of days it was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

On the photo, you can see, starting from the top left and looking towards bottom right, the Tiangong-1, Polaris, Iridium 80, and the Cassiopeia constellation. Click on the image to see it in full size.

Device: iPhone X
Settings: 28mm - ISO 2112 - 61s - f/1.8
Filters: None
Date/Time: 2018-03-31 05:30:01 KST
Location: Naju, Korea

Iridium 20 satellite flare


This is a recording of the flare from Iridium 20 satellite over at Yatap subway station in Seongnam.

Device: iPhone 5S
Settings: 30mm - ISO 1250 - 1/15s - f/2.2
Filters: None
Time: 2014-01-28 19:25 KST
Location: Seongnam, Korea
Defined tags for this entry: , , , ,

Iridium 42 satellite flare


The Iridium 42 featured in today's "The Toon-Box" was a frame from the series of burst shots I made with iPhone 5S. You can see the video of these shots as this YouTube video.

Device: iPhone 5S
Settings: 30mm - ISO 320 - 1/15s - f/2.2
Filters: None
Time: 2014-01-09 17:55 KST
Location: Seoul, Korea
Defined tags for this entry: , , , ,

Iridium 52 satellite flare

Iridium 52 satellite flare under city lights isn't so dramatic

In contrast to the flare spotted in the less light-polluted spot, Iridium 52's flare in the low altitude among one of the heaviest light pollution in the country is far less dramatic. Even the -5.2 magnitude brightness is nearly washed away in the background. See the YouTube video below for the faint flare in action.


Device: iPhone 5S
Settings: 30mm - ISO 1250 - 1/15s - f/2.2
Time: 2013-12-24 18:29 KST
Location: Seoul, Korea
Defined tags for this entry: , , , ,

Iridium 40 satellite flare

20 seconds of Iridium 40 satellite flare in one image

While visiting Ulsan, there was a bright flare at -6.4 magnitude of the Iridium 40 satellite in the southern sky last evening. It was so bright that my iPhone 5S had no problem recording it in its burst mode (10fps at 8 megapixels). It was quite a sight to see. Here are two ways of seeing it in action:

1. Youtube Video


2. Animated GIF (click the thumbnail)

Iridium 40 flare

Device: iPhone 5S
Settings: 30mm - ISO 2500 - 1/15s - f/2.2
Time: 2013-12-27 18:38 KST
Location: Ulsan, Korea
Defined tags for this entry: , , , ,

Copyright (C) 1996-2018 Wesley Woo-Duk Hwang-Chung. All rights reserved.