Observing Starlink satellites

Brian G Turner

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Some of the Starlink satellites have been visible over the UK this week, and the current clear skies means it's easy to observe them. Took the kids into the garden last night and watched a good handful go by - though because we're so far north the sky wasn't yet dark. Kids enjoyed it anyway. Might try again tonight as they'll pass by a little later in a darker sky, so may have a better view.


 

-K2-

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You can also use this: Stuff in Space which will show you the orbital path and give you a good idea as to time. Unfortunately, they're starting to spread out, and now, where they pass over me is too early in the evening so I only had a single viewing which I noted here: Scribbling on the Face of the Night Sky

It was a stunning display, while at the same time upsetting. Unfortunately, we'll get other chances at new dense clusters.

K2
 

Ray Zdybrow

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Just saw them, going West to East, 10 -20 degrees from the tip of the handle of the Saucepan (i.e. the other Ursa Major). Called my Lockdown Lady out to watch... she was less than impressed
 

RJM Corbet

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Musk has finally agreed to do something about his satellites interfering with astronomers. But it sure required a bit of arm twisting, now didn't it?


SpaceX CEO Elon Musk and members of his Starlink division gave a presentation on Monday before the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine on changes the company is making to its satellites.

Rocket builder SpaceX is rapidly becoming the world's foremost satellite operator, having launched 420 of its own satellites in the past year – with plans for thousands more.

However, the unprecedented scale of SpaceX's satellite internet project, known as Starlink, has caused a public outcry from astronomers around the globe. The network represents SpaceX's plan to build a network of about 12,000 small satellites to provide high-speed internet to anywhere in the world.

Starlink satellites have appeared as bright streaks across images taken by telescopes, ever since SpaceX launched the first mission almost a year ago.

SpaceX in recent months has taken to addressing astronomer's concerns directly. The American Astronomical Society (AAS) in December noted that "the response from our community was loud enough that SpaceX reached out to the AAS looking to establish a line of communication."

On Monday, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk and members of his Starlink division gave a presentation before the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The company's leadership gave updates on the changes SpaceX has made to the design of its Starlink satellites, as well as changes to how the satellites move in space, to help reduce the brightness and damage to astronomer's images.

"SpaceX is committed to making future satellite designs as dark as possible," the company said in a press release on Tuesday about the presentation.

"We also firmly believe in the importance of a natural night sky for all of us to enjoy, which is why we have been working with leading astronomers around the world to better understand the specifics of their observations and engineering changes we can make to reduce satellite brightness," SpaceX added.

"With the benefit of hindsight, the changes seem quite simple," Musk said during Monday's presentation. "We'll feel a bit silly in hindsight, as it's not that hard." ...
 
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Danny McG

Nuke the entire site from orbit
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The drone name on yesterday's launch!

"Of course I still love you"

I loved the Culture books
 

RJM Corbet

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It's the commercialization of space. It's going to be just as ugly as the commercialization of Earth. Musk is just another dirty polluter, imo. No-one wants his stupid satellites except himself.
 

paranoid marvin

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Satellites absolutely should not be seen from Earth. There is no need for them to and there are enough naturally beautiful things in the sky to start filling it with artificial ones. Where is the wonder in looking at a metal crate orbiting the sky compared to the majesty of a distant star or planet?
 

-K2-

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Weeeee...:cautious: Just saw the latest Starlink train go over (when they first deploy into a tight line as I mentioned in another thread. Again, eight or more in sight at any moment (though they're much tighter than the first time I saw this, maybe <5 degrees apart), and as one slipped into the earth shadow or the angle was lost to reflect to me, another would pop up to the NW, and it did not end before my patience expired. : Stuff in Space .

Anywho, if these are dimmer, it's not by much. Some I'll grant you, yet they're still bright enough they outshine all but the brightest of stars.

But, without such innovation how can we ever have an orbital garbage patch to match the Pacific one...

K2
 
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