Saturday, August 2, 2014

Iridium 39 Over Indiana, Snapseed Quick Edits and Star Trails

I used Heavens Above to predict a -7.6 iridium flare about 3 days in advance. The flare was set for 11:05pm to the NE at 37° above the horizon. The NE is my darkest sky because Indianapolis lies to the SW of my location.

I saw several satellites in the sky before the flare, and a few planes but not enough to ruin my shot. I started my camera on back to back shots at f/5.6, 18mm, 15 sec, 1600 ISO. I ended up with the typical yellow light dome over the horizon, but when I ran the photos through Snapseed on my phone, the "automatic" filter did a super quick and actually very decent job highlighting the stars against a natural looking sky. I guess that's why they call it SNAPseed, it's a snap!

It blows my mind that it's possible to calculate that the right antenna of a satellite 1192 km away will catch the sun just right to shine a beam of light onto Noblesville, and to predict it to the exact second. 

iridium flare 39
2 frames stacked to show full duration of the flare, close crop

iridium flare 39
2 frames stacked, no other edits - the flare was about 30 seconds long so each of my 15 second frames caught part of it

iridium flare with star trails
StarStaX stacked star trails with Iridium 39 flare - "automatic" filter in Snapseed

iridium flare 39
2 frames with the flare by itself, also edited in Snapseed "automatic" mode

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