Watch Jupiter Get Blasted by an Iridium Flare

Cue the “Space Invaders” sound effects! We’ve shared previously how astrophotographer Thierry Legault will travel anywhere to get a unique shot. He took this impressive but fun video of an Iridium 72 satellite flaring and passing in front of Jupiter, traveling to Oostende Beach at the North Sea in Belgium to capture this transit. He took both a wide angle view as well as the telescopic close-up view of Jupiter, and from the vantage point of Earth, it appears as though Jupiter gets blasted by the flare. In the zoomed-in view, even Jupiter’s moons are part of the scene.

You can almost hear the “pew-pew.”

Legault also shared a another recent video he shot of the Chinese Yaogan 6 satellite. “It is probably out of control, quickly tumbling with very bright and short flashes,” Legault said, and it has been tumbling for about a year. Yaogan 6 is a radar reconnaissance satellite launched by China in 2009. Legault said he did the tracking by hand with professional video tripod with a fluid head.

See more of Legault’s extraordinary astrophotography work at his website.

Nancy Atkinson

Nancy has been with Universe Today since 2004, and has published over 6,000 articles on space exploration, astronomy, science and technology. She is the author of two books: "Eight Years to the Moon: the History of the Apollo Missions," (2019) which shares the stories of 60 engineers and scientists who worked behind the scenes to make landing on the Moon possible; and "Incredible Stories from Space: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Missions Changing Our View of the Cosmos" (2016) tells the stories of those who work on NASA's robotic missions to explore the Solar System and beyond. Follow Nancy on Twitter at https://twitter.com/Nancy_A and and Instagram at and https://www.instagram.com/nancyatkinson_ut/

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