(meteorobs) Re: meteorobs-digest V1 #665

Hi, Lew,

     While I appreciate everyone's concerns over light pollution, the furor
about the Iridium flares amazes me.  Just to check out what everyone was
talking about, I found the web site to get the times and dates of the next
week of flares visible from our neighborhood.  Hey, sure enough, there were
about four during the course of a week that would be brighter than -5 at
our location.  Four in a week!  That is really going to disturb some
observations of other sky events!  Then we watched one that was supposed to
be -7.  It was visible for maybe 3 seconds, and obviously a satellite, not
a meteor.   Here we are in Phoenix where we can barely see all the stars in
the big dipper, where the local power company keeps selling people these
atrocious assault lights that blare out into the street at all hours of the
night.  If you all are going to get up in arms about something, how about
persuading city people to be sure to hood all lights so they don't shine
outside their yards onto the streets and sidewalks and into other people's
     And how about comparing the number of the Iridium satellites visible
during any given night to the number of airplanes?  We can go out into the
desert 100 miles from town and see several airplanes going various
directions in any given half-hour stretch.  The airplanes are quite a bit
brighter than the Iridium flares.   Do any of you have any trouble
distinguishing between an airplane and a meteor?  Don't these interfere
with your photography?  Have you seen any web sites that will plot for you
every airplane brighter than 0 going over your head for the next week?

     Dark Skies, Everyone - - -