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Reflective surfaces of other satellites occasionally catch the Sun and temporarily brighten by several magnitudes as they glide across the sky, but there's nothing like the flare produced by an Iridium satellite. Each of the approximately 66 Iridiums in orbit have three door-sized aluminum antennae treated with highly reflective, silver-coated Teflon for temperature control. When the angle between observer and satellite is just right, sunlight reflecting off an antenna can cause the satellite to surge from invisibility up to magnitude –8.5 in a matter of seconds.
The existing constellation of satellites is being replaced with newer models with less reflecting antenna. A few older models might be left in parking orbits but in a few years the flares will mostly be a thing of the past.
Several years ago the Smithsonian had an Iridium conveniently hanging such that you could create your own flare with your camera's flash. Anyone else do that?
> "Commit"? Or are they disproportionately stopped and searched?
Rapes, murders and other violent crime aren't dependent on "unfair stops and searches" though, which leads me to believe unfair stops and searches are probably not the root cause of the other cases either.
No amount of genius can overcome a preoccupation with detail.