An Iridium Flare is a quick reflection of sunlight from an “Iridium” satellite. This one was caught by Jacob Silco a few weekends ago as he was photographing a series of photos for a time-lapse movie.
The flares that Iridium satellites produce can last up twenty seconds, and can be predicted if you know your coordinates on earth. The Astronomy Section of the Rochester Academy of Science has a nice graphic on its website explaining Iridium Flares, and also provides a link to upcoming Iridium Flare time and date predictions based on the downtown Rochester, NY location (exact coordinated can be edited).
Editor’s Note: The Astronomy Section of the Rochester Academy of Science is hosting RochestarFest 2012 next month, and I’d like to invite anybody out there looking for something different to do. The event is open to the public, children are welcome, and you don’t need to know a thing about astronomy. The party is July 13 – 15, and a link for more info is right here.