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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2017 7:13 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:58 pm
Posts: 3547
Location: Wellingborough
See them while you can!

quote<Sadly, the (Iridium) era will soon draw to a close. On January 14th, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 delivered the first 10 of a new generation of Iridium NEXT satellites to low-Earth orbit, starting the process to replace the older units in a maneuver called slot-swapping. While the new birds will provide faster data rates and enhanced global communications, their antenna design is completely different and not expected to produce significant flares./>quote

see:
http://www.skyandtelescope.com/observin ... -too-late/

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2017 8:25 pm 
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Joined: Sat Dec 11, 2004 8:18 pm
Posts: 6502
Location: Manchester
Dear Brian
I'm half inclined to say "Good riddance !"
However, the old Iridiums will probably be replaced with something worse.
I'm afraid I'm not really a big fan of humans messing about in space - Although arguably space is a pretty big place and it may be a long time before humans (or should I say WE) really do much damage to that vast region above.
I vaguely recall me hearing about the Iridiums when they were first put into use (or possibly into uselessness). I gather there were supposed to be 77 Iridiums but I think amongst other things, I think "they" went bankrupt. Although I don't know who ""they" were. Then there were rumours the Iridiums would be "shot down". However, they were reprieved - ie someone got them on the cheap (possibly NOWT ?).
As whatsit used to say "I know nothing" really. However, I get the impression some Iridiums that should have been destroyed evaded capture and the odd one still wanders in space (albeit not far above Earth ?).
AND we wonder why space near Earth is messed up by space debris.
Of course Iridiums probably account for very little space junk up there.
Best of luck from Ranting Cliff


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2017 9:34 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 9:25 am
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170 million pieces of space junk and counting. At least that is claimed.

Regards,
David


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2017 11:04 am 
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Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 2:41 pm
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Location: 55° 57'N: 03° 08'W
The original Iridium series (IridiumO) are supposed to be de-orbited
in the coming couple of years. I speculate that the firing of the
de-orbit jets will not bring these satellites down immediately, but
simply lower their perigee so that they slowly descend into the lower
atmosphere to decay over the coming 25 years. Once the new series
(IridiumN) Iridium Next is established, the IridiumO satellites will likely
be abandoned in orbit, and begin to tumble. This will mean that they
will still 'flash' instead of flare. Flashes are much briefer, and they are
likely to occur more unpredictably than the IridiumO series, whose times
and directions are very reliable. If I'm right then there are going to be
many more reports of bright objects flashing in the night sky!

:shock:


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2017 7:25 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:58 pm
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Location: Wellingborough
Personally, I rather like to see a predicted Iridium flare from time to time (I use Calsky). If the Iridium flashes do become random and unpredictable, I can see many DSO imagers getting worked up about it - to no avail I guess :roll:

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Brian
52.3N 0.6W
Wellingborough UK.

254mm LX90 on Superwedge, WO ZS66SD, Helios 102mm f5 on EQ1, Hunter 11x80, Pentax 10x50
ASI120MC Toucam Pros 740k/840k/900nc mono, Pentax K110D
Ro-Ro roof shed


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2017 8:30 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2005 6:51 pm
Posts: 769
The Iridium satellites were a serious problem for meteor imagers from day one. Unless you'd observed the flare, you couldn't tell if it had been a bright meteor or not on the photo. The online predictions eventually helped, but by the sound, those won't be of much use once the junked satellites start heading homeward, flickering and flashing randomly along the way. I suppose at least some of the satellites will actually turn into genuine meteors over time though, if all perhaps a little Day of the Triffids overall...


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