23.-25.04.2020 – Starlink 6 after launch

On Wednesday the 22nd April 2020, a Falcon rocket with 60 Starlink satellites started from Florida. These are part of a project of the company SpaceX and the satellites will be part of a structured satellite-network around the globe in near future. This network should bring fast internet connection to every place on Earth. Meanwhile there are already about 420 satellites in the orbit around the Earth and it’s planned, that it will be many more. As amateur astronomer I see this topic critical, but at least the company is already working on making the satellites less bright, so that they reflect less o no light coming from the sun. There are so many critical points about this project, but I won’t talk about it here. However, these satellites are really interesting objects to observe and I spent already some evenings and mornings to look at them when they passed my place. It looks interesting how they are structured already and sometimes passing also in pairs. I was also sometimes lucky, to see some brighten up a lot for a short time, remembering me of the Iridium Flares, which are getting rare these days. Maybe we can call these “Starlink Flare”. During the time from 22nd April until 25th April we were lucky, that the just launched group also was passing across the sky here. I have to admit, I missed the launch day of 22nd April so that I also missed to watch them here in the evening. But also the days afterwards it was nice to observe, how the satellites got more and more structured and into several groups and sometimes pairs. Through the binoculars they were also clearly visible as single spots, but on the photographs unfortunately this isn’t really visible, even with short exposure time. The observations on 23rd and 24th April were kind of easy, but the last day of visibility from my place they just reached a height of 14° above the horizon and I needed to use binoculars, to detect them frist. After founding them like this, it was also possible to notice them with the naked eye. Now some photographs and one animation of this three evenings:

 

25th April 2020 – Starlink 6 flyover from 10.04 pm until 10.06 pm

 

24th April 2020 – Starlink 6 flyover from 10.02 pm until 10.03 pm

 

23rd April 2020 – Starlink 6flyover from 9.57 pm until 9.59 pm

 

 

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