Iridium 10 flashes above Rome – 9 June 2018

When you look up at night, you can see much more than the stars and many natural celestial bodies: plenty of artificial satellite passes add to the beauty of the sky, sometimes offering unique shows. Like the Iridium flares.

Satellite Iridium 10 made a very bright flare above Rome on 9 June 2018

Satellite Iridium 10 made a very bright flare above Rome on 9 June 2018

Iridium flares, due to artificial satellites belonging to the Iridium Satellite Constellation, have been very popular over the last two decades, offering amazing opportunities to see something very bright happening in the sky. For sure, they contributed to promote the wonders of the night sky. Unfortunately, they are going to disappear soon, so it would be great if we observe them until they are gone.

On 9 June, 2018, a bright Iridium flare event, involving the Iridium 10 satellite, was expected to shine above Rome. It was going to happen in a dark sky, after the end of the astronomical twilight, and peaking at mag. -5.8, all this making the event quite remarkable. I decided to image it, hopefully including something special in my image.

Considering the altitude of the flare was about 20 degrees, it was a perfect event to be framed with something from Rome, the Eternal City. I managed to find a nice place as for the imaging set and selected one from where I could see the Tiber river and the wonderful St. Peter’s Dome, a masterpiece tightened with the name of Michelangelo.

I used one of my Canon 5D mark IV DSLR bodies and a Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM lens, set at 41mm @f/4. Considering the exact moment of the brightness peak, I started the exposure 10 seconds before and ended it 10 seconds after. Of course the imaging setup was properly installed on a sturdy tripod.

The resulting image is shared above: I’m very happy with the results and i’m already looking forward to see another bright event!

Stay tuned!

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