Elon Musk’s Starlink satellites will be visible over the UK again this week, appearing as a train of lights in the night sky.
The Starlink satellites form a constellation of thousands of satellites, and are designed to provide low-cost broadband internet service from low Earth orbit.
SpaceX successfully launched another 60 satellites into orbit last week on board a Falcon 9 rocket, before landing the rocket booster back on Earth.
This brings the total number of Starlink satellites in orbit to over 500.
Eagle-eyed Brits will have several opportunities to see the Starlink satellites from the UK this week.
Here’s everything you need to know about the satellites, including what they are, and how to see them this week.
There will be several opportunities for you to see the Starlink satellites from the UK this week, according to Find Starlink.
The satellites will be visible at:
11:05 pm, 15 Jun 2020
11:45 pm, 15 Jun 2020
10:45 pm, 16 Jun 2020
12:21 am, 17 Jun 2020
10:02 pm, 17 Jun 2020
11:21 pm, 17 Jun 2020
10:21 pm, 18 Jun 2020
If you want to track the satellites in real-time, you can visit the Find Starlink website.
The site allows you to view the satellites’ location in real-time on a map, or input your location to see exactly when the satellites will be visible from your home.
Results are filtered based on how bright the satellites will be, so make sure you’re looking at those listed as ‘Bright’.
Elon Musk hopes the satellites will bring low-cost internet to remote areas on Earth.
Starlink explained: “With performance that far surpasses that of traditional satellite internet, and a global network unbounded by ground infrastructure limitations, Starlink will deliver high speed broadband internet to locations where access has been unreliable, expensive, or completely unavailable.”
However, several astronomers have raised concerns that one of the satellites could pass in front of a telescope and obscure an image.
In a recent study, published in arXiv, researchers led by Stefano Gallozzi, wrote: “Depending on their altitude and surface reflectivity, their contribution to the sky brightness is not negligible for professional ground based observations.
“With the huge amount of about 50,000 new artificial satellites for telecommunications planned to be launched in Medium and Low Earth Orbit, the mean density of artificial objects will be of >1 satellite for square sky degree; this will inevitably harm professional astronomical images.”
Have you seen the Starlink satellites? Send your photos to [email protected]