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Iridium 16 Tumbling And Throwing A Double Flare
A small group of my photog friends met up to shoot the ULA Atlas V AEHF-F launch on August 8, 2019 from the beach south of Cape Canaveral. We thought we'd catch some Perseid meteors before the rocket. Orion, Taurus, and the Pleiades cluster were out, which made for a nice shot. When checking my shots after, what I thought was a really bright meteor turned out to be a satellite as its trail spanned four 30-second frames. There wasn't supposed to be a flare this morning, but there it was. And a double one at that! A little research and a few emails to the good folk here at Catch The Iridium confirmed that this was a tumbling Iridium 16, which has been out of service since 2005. It still throws flares, but they aren't as predictable. We were just lucky to be right where we were and happened to have cameras pointing in the right direction when it happened.