Question About Oregon Sighting: Meteor or Iridium Flare
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection Staff
(Manzanita, Oregon) – A little over a month ago, Oregon Coast Beach Connection snapped a pic of what appeared to be a shooting star above the north coast town of Manzanita. Checking in with astronomy expert Jim Todd from OMSI, the initial verdict was that it likely was.
Now, it actually may be something rarer.
The photograph was taken late at night on this north Oregon coast beach, with the Big Dipper floating above the moving object. Todd's first reaction was that the white streak was likely a meteor from a set of meteor showers happening that month.
“It does look like you have a shooting star or meteor from the September Perseid,” Todd said at the time.
But soon after he said it may instead be an iridium flare – the extended gleam of a satellite's metallic surface as it catches the sun. (Above: the Big Dipper is just above the streak).
This phenomenon is also known as a “satellite glint.” According to Wkipedia, it is “the phenomenon caused by the reflective surfaces on satellites (such as antennas or solar panels) reflecting sunlight directly onto the Earth below and appearing as a brief, bright flare.' “
Certain kinds of communication satellites have a distinctive shape and there polished antennas. Periodically, one of these antenna reflect sunlight back down to the Earth, creating a flare that lasts a few seconds.
There are actually many websites that can predict these. Although they are predictable, they are rarer than actual meteors sightings.
Case in point: while Oregon Coast Beach Connection was photographing this nocturnal beach scene, several shooting stars were seen. These were apparently part of the Leonid showers Todd talked about, although it was a few days from the peak. This particular incident came from a 47-second test shot, and it wasn't seen with the naked eye. Staff only saw this particular phenomenon when viewing the photo after it was downloaded onto the computer.
Considering the almost cylindrical shape of this streak, and when comparing it to other iridium flare photographs, this does seem likely it's a flare rather than a meteor.
More photos from Manzanita, and Manzanita, Wheeler, Rockaway Beach lodging below.
More About Manzanita, Rockaway, Wheeler Lodging.....
More About Manzanita, Rockaway, Wheeler Dining.....
LATEST from Manzanita, Rockaway Beach, Nehalem
Manzanita, Rockaway Beach Oregon Coast Virtual Tour, Blog - Guide to Manzanit...
From Oswald State Park, Manzanita, Nehalem, Highway 53, Wheeler to Rockaway Beach. A Guide to Manzanita, Nehalem Bay, Wheeler and Rockaway - Beaches and Landmarks in dozens of Oregon Coast pictures, blog
Latest in Manzanita, Oregon Coast: Beach Dangers, Lodging, Rentals, Spring, S...
Gas canisters, spectualar sunsets, spotting whales, i-phone lodging listings, Manzanita maps, rentals in Manzanita, more news
Stunning Sights of Manzanita, a N. Oregon Coast Oasis (Photo Tour)
This little north Oregon coast village is a kind of forested wonder and oasis of breathtaking sights and attractions tucked away a bit from the masses of traffic zipping along Highway 101
Rockaway Beach Briefly - A Small Photographic Tour
ockaway Beach has been a favorite Oregon coast destination for over 100 years now, albeit a bit clandestinely
Manzanita, Oregon Explorations: Photos of Stunning Sunsets at Manzanita
Between Cannon Beach and the Nehalem Bay sits the somewhat secretive village of Manzanita
N. Coast Time Lapse: Manzanita, Wheeler, Cannon Beach, Seaside
The latest video experiment from Oregon Coast Beach Connection shows some fascinating things happening with the scenery that we see everyday
Rockaway's Recent Remarkable Discoveries.
Rockaway Beach sits spread out over seven miles of exquisite and pristine sands;Rockaway Beach lodging, dining
More Reasons to Meander Around Manzanita
You could literally spend days just bouncing around the beaches and the nooks and crannies of this north Oregon coast town and never get bored
Astounding Sights and Sounds Between Cannon Beach and Manzanita
For those intrepid explorers of the Oregon coast it's a goldmine of fantastic sights and discoveries
Details and Delights of an Oregon Landmark: Exploring Rockaway Beach
This is the calm and cozy sandy wonder from the Oregon coast, boasting seven miles of soft granules and a kind of 1800's Old West look against an ocean backdrop
Romantic Walks and Great Makeout Spots on the Oregon Coast
You can't surpass the Oregon coast for the cuddle factor: romance in Manzanita, Cannon Beach, Oceanside, Yachats and Florence; plus lodging, dining
Oregon Coast in 2011: Most Memorable Photos of Manzanita, Wheeler, Rockaway A...
15 minutes south of Cannon Beach, you'll find the Nehalem Bay area, with its viewpoints and the towns of Manzanita, Rockaway, Nehalem and Wheeler
Back to Oregon Coast
Contact Advertise on BeachConnection.net
All Content, unless otherwise attributed, copyright BeachConnection.net Unauthorized use or publication is not permitted