Every single post on the homepage right now is about presidential politics. Ick. Overkill. As Obama might say, time for a change!
Let’s see… how about a pretty picture of an Iridium flare?
I took that from a random roadside spot in Loudon last Monday. My parents were in town, and I wanted to show them what an Iridium flare is, so we drove out and watched it. We also dragged Jay and Ashley out to watch, so they got to meet my parents. The flare itself was somewhat less impressive than I expected, given its predicted negative-7 magnitude, but it made for a very nice photo, especially with the thin, wispy clouds all around. Here’s the wider view.
Unless you’re a serious dork like me, Iridium flares probably aren’t worth a drive out to some random spot — but if one happens to take place where you are, it’s well worth a look up to the sky in the proper spot at the proper time. Heavens-Above can tell you when flares will happen near you. (It also has predictions for lots of other stuff, including when and where you can see that decaying spy satellite pass overhead, though you’ll need a darkish sky for that.)