|Iriduim 35 Flare|
This was a 5 minute exposure shot 4 minutes before till 1 minute after the flare to capture the background stars. An Iridium flair is when the sun reflects off of one of the three antennas of an Iridium communication satellite. This is why you will only see a flare (or any other satellite) in the early evening or before dawn. The observer must be in the Earth's shadow (night) while the satellite is still in the sunlight. Since satellites are several hundred miles above (aprox. 480 miles up for an Iridium) they are still in sunlight and we see the sunlight bouncing off there surfaces. Since the Iridium's have large highly reflective antennas precisely oriented, it is possible to predict where and when on the Earth's surface the reflection will be. Heavens Above A free service maintained by Chris Peat, is where I get my predictions.