Iridium Flare and Conjunction of Venus and Jupiter

April 17, 2019


Photographer: Tiziano Boldrini 
Summary Authors: Tiziano Boldrini; Jim Foster

Shown above are an Iridium flare and the conjunction of Venus and Jupiter as observed near Novara, Italy on January 18, 2019. These dazzling flares, as bright as magnitude -8 (about 85 times as bright as Venus as its brightest), result when sunlight is briefly reflected off one of the solar panels of the 66 iridium satellites. However, the ability to see bright Iridium flares will become a thing of the past before long as the satellite series replacing the 66 iridium satellites already in orbit will no longer conspicuously reflect sunlight toward the ground. Nor will the flares produced by the new satellites be as predictable as the current ones.

To find out more about when and where to look for these flares at your location visit Heavens Above: Iridium Flares. Also see the Flarewell page.

Photo Details: Camera: NIKON D5300; ISO equivalent: 100; Aperture: ƒ/3.5; Exposure Time: 25.000s; Focal Length (35mm): 27.