Photos of the Sun

Iridium satellite. The solar system with the naked eye

Iridium satellite. The solar system with the naked eye

The flash of an Iridium satellite bursts into the darkness of the night. The era of telecommunications also has its place in the night sky.

Iridium satellites are the artificial communications satellites that cover our mobile telephony. The development of the last two decades has made them the most numerous. There are approximately one hundred, so it is easy to see some after several minutes of observation.

The best time to see an Iridium satellite is the hours close to twilight and dawn, as it is when the Sun reflects on its solar panels. The flash lasts a few seconds, but it is very bright. Depending on the angle with sunlight, it reaches a maximum brightness of magnitude -8. Only the full moon surpasses it in intensity.

When the Sun reflects on both panels of the same satellite, it creates the spectacular effect of the double Iridium, much desired by astrophotography fans.

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