Iridium Flare over Samford

Ever seen an Iridium Flare?

The Iridium communications satellites turn their solar panels towards the sun at predictable times during their orbits and cause them to brighten dramatically for a few seconds as they pass.

I photographed this one this morning at 4am, not normally a time I’d be up, but the dog was demanding attention and then my Iridium flare app started screaming too! I took the camera out as well; this is the first time I have tried to capture one and am glad I did as the event was bright at mag -8 and passing high in the West.
So go find an app (there are plenty freebies) and have a look – they are very lovely to watch and happen every few days – Happy hunting!
Iridium_flare [For the photographers: Canon 650d, Samyang 14mm, ISO 400 for 30 seconds]

Samford Eclipse

A combination of Brisbane’s light glow and stitching artefacts have combined to
give this 360 panorama of the garden/house/observatory a rather eclipse like

I love the diamond ring over the observatory dome, prominences
caused by house and street lights and even the coronal mass visible to the

The image is made up of 20 photos taken at 3am this morning and stitched together using an effect called ‘Little planet’ which gives an amazing, if bizarre, result.