Saturday, December 24, 2011

Star of Bethlehem

Marathon, Florida
24 42.40 081 N 05.68 W

How do you like our Christmas tree?  It is made of rosemary.  It is very cute, and it is just the right size for a boat.  It even smells nice.   [Actually, that's causing a conflict. I think the nice smell is too strong and I want to store it out in the cockpit.  Libby wants it down in the cabin.  We'll have to duke that one out.]  

Christmas Eve is the proper time for a Star Of Bethlehem type celestial event; right?   Well, if the local clouds will dissipate, Boot Key Harbor will get to see one tonight.  At 6:54:44 PM tonight, 55 degrees above the horizon to the NE, we'll see a very bright Iridium flare, magnitude -8.  What is that?  Iridium satellite phones are served by low orbit satellites.   Just after sunset, or just before dawn, when it is dark down here and sunny up there, the solar panels reflect the sunlight.  If the panel points directly at your eye (like a signal mirror) you see a bright flash.  Such will be the case here tonight.   If you are not in Boot Key Harbor you won't see it, the effect is quite local.  However if you go to you can find out when Iridium flares are visible where you live.

Merry Christmas


  1. Merry Christmas from Northern NY (about an hour north of Syracuse) We have a light dusting of snow..looks like Santa made a stop here...the boat is high and dry but the sun is up a little longer each day. Spring is on its way.
    Reading your comments as you venture up and down the coast brings back some great memories from our journeys on the ICW. Best wishes and keep writing.

    Fair Winds,
    Loren & Betsy
    SV Whippoorwill

  2. Merry Christmas!! That is so neat about the Rosemary

    I hope you two have had a great new years.


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