Starlink: The Problem and The Sightings

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Christopher K.
Posts: 5244
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Starlink: The Problem and The Sightings

Post by Christopher K. »

The Starlinks are a constellation (group of satellite) currently being sent into orbit to facilitate internet access of a certain speed for a large section of the Earth's population. Many have expressed concerns over three main issues: (1) potential satellite/space junk collisions, (2) destroying ground-based optical astronomy and skygazing, and (3) increased radio frequency clutter.

More information:
https://www.starlink.com/
https://www.space.com/spacex-starlink-s ... video.html
https://www.spacex.com/webcast
https://skyandtelescope.org/astronomy-n ... astronomy/
https://www.newscientist.com/article/22 ... pe-images/
https://www.popularmechanics.com/space/ ... x-lawsuit/
https://astronomy.com/news/2020/01/with ... g-concerns
https://www.marketwatch.com/story/space ... 2020-01-29
https://aavso.org/starlink-satellite-co ... photometry

Christopher K.
Posts: 5244
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: Starlink: The Problem and The Sightings

Post by Christopher K. »

Baton Rougeans have a chance in a couple of hours to see exactly what is causing dismay among many skygazers.

Between 8:20pm and 8:37pm CDT, several Starlinks may pass through our skies at magnitudes brighter than 3.0.

*8:20pm to 8:25pm = Two Starlinks pass from NW to SE, maxing out at 82˚ in SW (mag 2.8)
*8:21pm to 8:26pm = Two Starlinks pass from NW to SE, maxing out at 87˚ in SW (mag 2.8)
For the four above passes, look at their max-out locations in Gemini between 8:23pm and 8:25pm.
*8:22pm to 8:27pm = Three Starlinks pass from NW to SE, maxing out at 84˚ in SW (mag 2.8)
*8:23pm to 8:28pm = Two Starlinks pass from NW to SE maxing out at 81˚ in SW (mag 2.8)
For the five above passes, look at their max-out locations in Gemini between 8:25pm and 8:27pm.
*8:24pm to 8:30pm = Four Starlinks pass from NW to SE maxing out at average of 86˚ in NE (mag 2.7)
For the four above passes, look at their max-out locations in Lynx between 8:27pm and 8:29pm.

To obtain an accurate prediction for your location, please use Heavens Above...
https://www.heavens-above.com/main.aspx

Christopher K.
Posts: 5244
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: Starlink: The Problem and The Sightings

Post by Christopher K. »

Well, I had a success of sorts. I saw seven of the predicted passes. A few were quite dim; some were surprisingly bright. Meanwhile, HRPO Program Aide Judah Santiago imaged three of the Starlink passes.

Guess what? It's happening again tonight!

Between 7:59pm and 8:09pm CDT, several Starlinks may pass through our skies at magnitudes brighter than 3.0.

*7:59pm to 8:06pm = Three Starlinks pass from SW to NE, maxing out at 86˚ in SW (mag 2.8)
For the three above passes, look at their max-out locations in Gemini from 8:02pm to 8:03pm.
*8:00pm to 8:08pm = Four Starlinks pass from SW to NE, maxing out basically at zenith--right above your head. (mag 2.8)
For the four above passes, look at their max-out locations in the western portion of Gemini from 8:04pm to 8:05pm.
*8:02pm to 8:09pm = Three Starlinks pass from SW to NE maxing out at average of 86˚ in NW (mag 2.8)
For the three above passes, look at their max-out locations between Gemini and Auriga 8:05pm to 8:06pm.

Christopher K.
Posts: 5244
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: Starlink: The Problem and The Sightings

Post by Christopher K. »

Between 8:50pm and 8:57pm CDT, several Starlinks may pass through our skies at magnitudes brighter than 4.0. During that time, eight Starlinks are predicted to be visible from mag 3.3 to 3.5. The eight will travel from northwest to southwest, peaking in the southwest at altitudes starting at fifty-four degrees, with each successive Starlink passing lower, the last finally peaking at forty-eight degrees. The eight peaks take place between 8:53pm and 8:56pm. All eight peaks take place within the Winter Triangle as each Starlink fades into the Earth's shadow.

Christopher K.
Posts: 5244
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: Starlink: The Problem and The Sightings

Post by Christopher K. »

Between 8:05pm and 8:28pm CDT there will be four Starlink passes moving from northwest to southeast, all with a peak magnitude of about 3.6...
8:10pm, Starlink 1078 reaches a peak altitude of sixty-six degrees in the northeast (passing between the Big Dipper and Gemini).
8:15pm, Starlink 1108 reaches a peak altitude of seventy-five degrees in the northeast (passing between Big Dipper and Gemini).
8:20pm, Starlink 1071 reaches a peak altitude of eighty-four degrees in the northeast (passing just above the Moon).
8:25pm, Starlink 1110 reaches a peak altitude of eighty-six degrees in the southwest (passing just above Auriga and Gemini).

Of course, begin looking at least sixty seconds early to avoid missing the object.

Christopher K.
Posts: 5244
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: Starlink: The Problem and The Sightings

Post by Christopher K. »

Between 8:30pm and 9:05pm CDT there will be four Starlink passes moving from northwest to southeast, all with a peak magnitude of about 3.3...
8:32pm, Starlink 1228 moves NW to SE, peaking at fifty-two degrees in the northeast (passing through the bowl of the Big Dipper).
8:49pm, Starlink 80 moves SW to NE, peaking at seventy-three degrees in the northwest (passing between Castor and Pollux).
8:52pm, Starlink 42 moves SW to S, peaking at forty-three degrees in the south (fading into the Earth's shadown in Hydra).
9:02pm, Starlink 48 moves SW to NE, peaking at sixty-nine degrees in the southeast (cutting through Leo then fading).

Christopher K.
Posts: 5244
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: Starlink: The Problem and The Sightings

Post by Christopher K. »

Between 8:20pm and 8:45pm CDT there will be four Starlink passes moving from southwest to northeast, all with magnitudes brighter than 3.0...
8:27pm, Starlink 28, peaking at sixty-six degrees in the southeast. Mag 2.8.
8:33pm, Starlink 1040, peaking at sixty-six degrees in the southeast. Mag 2.3.
8:35pm, Starlink 33, peaking at seventy degrees in the southeast. Mag 2.8.
All three of these Starlinks will pass through Hydra and Leo, then under the Big Dipper.
8:40pm, Starlink 66, peaking at eighty-seven degrees in the southeast (skirting to the west of the Winter Triangle, passing above Leo then cutting through the handle of the Big Dipper). Mag 2.8.

Christopher K.
Posts: 5244
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: Starlink: The Problem and The Sightings

Post by Christopher K. »

Between 8:05pm and 8:30pm CDT there will be twelve Starlink passes moving from southwest to northeast, all with predicted magnitudes brighter than 3.0...
8:09pm, Starlink 1026 = peaking at 71˚SE. mag 2.5 (through Leo and under the Big Dipper)
8:10pm, Starlink 81 = SW to NE, peaking at 80˚SE. mag 2.5 (east of Winter Triangle and over Leo)
8:14pm, Starlink 77 = SW to NE, peaking at 87˚SE. mag 2.5 (east of Winter Triangle and over Leo)
8:14pm, Starlink 1013 = peaking at 81˚SE. Mag 2.5. (over Leo and under the Big Dipper)
8:15pm, Starlink 25 = SW to NE, peaking at 89˚NW. mag 2.5 very near Polaris, over Leo and through handle of Big Dipper)
8:17pm, Starlink 71 = SW to NE, peaking at 75˚NW. mag 2.7 (through Winter Triangle and Gemini)
8:19pm, Starlink 79 = SW to NE, peaking at 82˚NW. mag 2.6 (through Winter Triangle and the Big Dipper)
8:20pm, Starlink 78 = SW to NE, peaking at 78˚NW. mag 2.7 (through Winter Triangle and the Big Dipper)
8:22pm, Starlink 57 = SW to NE, peaking at 70˚NW. mag 2.8 (through Winter Triangle and Gemini)
8:24pm, Starlink 49 = SW to NE, peaking at 72˚NW. mag 2.8 (through Winter Triangle and Gemini)
8:25pm, Starlink 27 = SW to NE, peaking at 69˚NW. mag 2.9 (through Winter Triangle and Gemini)
8:27pm, Starlink 74 = SW to NE, peaking at 67˚NW. mag 2.5 (through Winter Triangle and Gemini)

Christopher K.
Posts: 5244
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: Starlink: The Problem and The Sightings

Post by Christopher K. »

Between 7:50pm and 9:30pm CDT there will be thirteen Starlink passes with predicted magnitudes brighter than 3.0...
7:58pm, Starlink 81 = SW to NE, peaking at 80˚NW. mag 2.7 (through Winter Triangle, over Gemini, through Big Dipper)
8:02pm, Starlink 77 = SW to NE, peaking at 74˚NW. mag 2.8 (through Winter Triangle, through Gemini, over Big Dipper)
8:03pm, Starlink 25 = SW to NE, peaking at 70˚NW. mag 2.9 (through Winter Triangle and Gemini, then west of Big Dipper)
8:03pm, Starlink 1026 = SW to NE, peaking at 77˚NW. mag 2.8 (through Winter Triangle, Gemini and Big Dipper)
8:46pm, Starlink 1011 = SW to NE, peaking at 42˚SE. mag 2.9 (between Spica and Leo, then over Arcturus)
8:51pm, Starlink 1036 = SW to NE, peaking at 47˚SE. mag 2.8 (between Spica and Leo, then over Arcturus)
8:56pm, Starlink 1044 = SW to NE, peaking at 54˚SE. mag 2.6 (between Spica and Leo, then over Arcturus)
8:58pm, Starlink 1037 = SW to NE, peaking at 59˚SE. mag 2.6 (between Spica and Leo, then over Arcturus)
9:00pm, Starlink 1047 = SW to NE, peaking at 62˚SE. mag 2.5 (just nicking back corner of Leo, then between Arcturus and Big Dipper)
9:10pm, Starlink 1059 = SW to NE, peaking at 80˚SE. mag 2.4 (east of Winter Triangle, through Leo and under Big Dipper)
9:15pm, Starlink 1057 = SW to NE, peaking at 89˚SE. mag 2.5 (east of Winter Triangle, through head of Leo and handle of Big Dipper)
9:20pm, Starlink 1034 = SW to NE, peaking at 81˚NW. mag 2.8 (east of Winter Triangle, over Leo and through bowl of Big Dipper)
9:25pm, Starlink 1068 = SW to NE, peaking at 72˚NW. mag 2.8 (right over Procyon then just nicking the bowl of the Big Dipper)

Christopher K.
Posts: 5244
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: Starlink: The Problem and The Sightings

Post by Christopher K. »

Beginning in a few minutes there will be at least ten visible passes of Starlinks through the Baton Rouge skies. Please use Chris Peat’s Heavens Above site to generate a timetable for your specific location.

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