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Weekly Cosmos Report - Baja Night Sky #79

Date: 30/03/2015

Week of March 30, 2015:

Iridium Satellite Flare

1) At Rancho Cacachilas, La Ventana, El Sargento, and Rancho Sotol, there will be a brilliant Iridium Satellite Flare tonight, Monday, March 30 at 7:21:57pm, about 6 fists (60 degrees) above the SSE (S of SE) horizon. This will be the brightest flare of the year, more than 30 times as bright as Venus and lasting about 10 seconds. At other locations, the flare will match the brighter stars, but will occur a few seconds before/after the above time depending if your location is N/S of El Sargento. If you use your fist-at-arm's-length measuring tool to find the flare location, you can spot the satellite before and after the flare as it travels from north to south. It will pass just to the west of the Moon and Jupiter a few seconds after 7:21 pm before flaring at 7:21:57pm.

2) I walked in from the El Sargento entrance to the new Rancho Cacachilas' trail. It makes great hiking through spectacular scenery. More are under construction. If you go there, check out the many short, narrow arroyos along the way that are home to several endemic plants and birds.

3) There are recent issues of the Baja Night Sky at www.ranchosotol.com as well as an interview with the writer, and photos of spectacular views from the Rancho's observatory deck.

4) Read this Thursday's BNS for information on Saturday morning's total eclipse of the Moon, the shortest of the century.

Tom at BajaNightSky@gmail.com

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