In the post “Possum Experience”, I explained a bit about what a solar flare was. After having looked a bit online, I am thinking that maybe what was called a solar flare, is actually called a satellite flare. And is exactly that. It is the sun reflecting of as satellite causing it to flare or glint.
There are different types of these satellite flares and there are different measurements for how bright they will be. I don’t know much about that, just that they exist.
The other night after a long day of work and not feeling so great I was pretty set on staying in and hitting the hay early. Luckily for me, my boyfriend and my German friends (Alex and Bente) convinced me to climb good old Conical Hill to check out a satellite flare. This was probably going to be our third attempt, none of which had been successful. We didn’t expect much. In fact that is why the Kiwi, Steph, and the American couple, Adam and Lucy, decided not to go.
We made it up Conical Hill with a few possum sightings (no Adam to chase them with Lady Spalding) and were dismayed by the cloud coverage. Alex has an app on his phone that tells when and at what degree above the horizon a satellite flare will take place (and also how bright etc). We were looking and trying to figure out where. There was a lot of pointing into the sky and saying it will be “there” (very helpful). We all managed to be looking in the same-ish spot when lo and behold, there was a satellite making its merry way across the sky. I started watching it as a point of reference to where I thought the satellite flare was going to be… silly me ( I still hadn’t made the connection that what we were looking for was a satellite).
As we watched its progress across the sky, it grew brighter and brighter, until it was a beautiful shining yellow beacon outshining the stars around it. It was incredible. I can’t describe it except as it was beautiful and so cool to think how it was reflecting the suns rays from such a distance and then bouncing it to Earth.
Needless to say, everyone who stayed home was disappointed. There will be more. And I am looking forward to watching them!