Imaginea Astronomica a Zilei

Descopera cosmosul! In fiecare zi este prezentata o noua imagine sau fotografie a universului nostru fascinant, insotita de o explicatie scurta din partea unui astronom profesionist.

October 22, 1999
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Iridium 52: Not A Meteor
Credit: J. W. Young ( TMO, JPL, NASA) Used With Permission

Explicatie: (Edit) While hunting for meteors in the night sky above the White Mountains near Bishop, California, astrophotographer James Young instead captured this brilliant celestial apparition. Recorded near twilight on August 13, the bright streak is not the flash of a meteor trail but sunlight glinting from a satellite. The satellite, Iridium 52, is one of a constellation of Iridium digital communication satellites in Earth orbit known for producing stunning, predictable "flares" as they momentarily reflect sunlight from shiny antenna surfaces. For well placed observers, the peak brightness of this Iridium satellite flare reached about -6 magnitude, not quite as bright as the half illuminated moon. At magnitude 2.5, the bright star at the left is Alpha Pegasi, a star in the constellation Pegasus.

Imaginea de maine: Not A Comet

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Autori & editori: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
Reprezentanti tehnici NASA: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
Un serviciu al: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.