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"a train of satellites"

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#1 jkw119

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Posted 26 March 2020 - 12:40 PM

This morning I packed it up after viewing M57 and Jupiter and I went back to my spot in the yard to make sure I didn't forget anything and saw a train of what looked like satellites going across the sky all in a line.  I took a picture, it was still dark so my iphone was set to a 5 sec exposure.  What are theses?  Can anyone confirm, did I see Elon Musks Starlink satellites?  Is their any tracking places to confirm this from the Pittsburgh area?  The time was 5:55 AM 

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#2 jupiter122

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Posted 26 March 2020 - 12:52 PM

Sure looks like the Starlink satellites. Pretty cool when you seem them for the first time, but they're going to grow into a major nuisance to say the least.

 

Tim


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#3 MikeMiller

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Posted 26 March 2020 - 12:53 PM

This is almost certianly Starlink. A new batch of them were launched last week, so they are still grouped close together. 

 

Heavens Above has been pretty accurate on predicting them, and as you can see Starlink 5 is still very close together.

 

https://www.heavens-...gh&alt=0&tz=EST

 

We used this to observe a group of satellites at Wagman a few weeks ago. We lost count, but out of 2 Starlink groups there were at least 40 visible satellites passing near Venus within 30 minutes.


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#4 ram812

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Posted 26 March 2020 - 12:57 PM

  I have noticed this same thing,too, when I was bino viewing the M51 area last week. I counted 28 of those **** things in a "String of Pearls" going west to east and could have howled blue murder waking every living soul within 10 miles at 4AM! Musk- owned they are, weighing in at over 550lbs. each. I'd go (Since you have a pic) to Astronomy.com and look this article up on their home page and follow the directions to send that pic to the folks who are looking to "Fix" this phenomenon, possibly, in the future. Even JPL, etc. are looking to mitigate this as it's screwing up LOTS of Earthbound observation, photography, and data collectors alike. They need these pictures to prove a point. Frustrating, isn't it? Ralph


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#5 John Rogers

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Posted 26 March 2020 - 12:59 PM

I observed the same think three or four mornings ago.  It was quite a stunning sight.  As I followed the train back, there was a point near zenith where they would suddenly appear out of the Earth's shadow and join the precession.  I was surprised at how bright one of them appeared for a few moments.  It was nearly as bright as Jupiter.

 

I can see where these could become problematic for astrophotographers.


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#6 JedF

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Posted 26 March 2020 - 12:59 PM

We saw the identical phenomenon west of Maui last November and later learned that’s exactly what it was.  


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#7 bobzeq25

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Posted 26 March 2020 - 01:39 PM

For the time being, this is a right after launch thing.  By the time they're in their orbits, it's much less of a problem.  For now.


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#8 Ryanw209

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Posted 26 March 2020 - 10:51 PM

I just looked up and saw the train going over northern California. Was definitely Starlink. Probably watched 25-30 of them fly over in 15 minutes.

#9 Alvin435

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Posted 27 March 2020 - 12:44 AM

I saw them tonight from northern California in the twilight mabe 35ish, felt violated.
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#10 russell23

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Posted 27 March 2020 - 06:08 AM

A friend said he saw these yesterday morning as well.  Upstate NY near Binghamton.



#11 Illinois

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Posted 27 March 2020 - 06:17 AM

I saw that about two weeks ago at about 8:30 pm and I ran to get my wife to look at it. I told her UFO! She laughed! I never see like that before! I can tell its satellites but perfect line. Train satellites is a good name!

#12 jmillsbss

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Posted 27 March 2020 - 09:14 AM

SO let me ask..... When they finally and fully deploy to service, how densely positioned do we expect them to be?

 

For now**, I'm visual only, but my experience from just last night, I was out viewing wide-field for about 2 hours and clocked 18 different satellites going through my FOV.  Not a chain, just random.  It was cool the first 237 times but I've grown tired of the intrusion.  Newbies and guests still think it's cool but I'm OVER IT already.  It'll look like that light show from the Chinese Olympic games from a few years back.  Cool, but quickly losing it's charm!!!

 

 

** If any of you sell me anything to do with AP, my wife, a photographer herself, says she's gonna pull my CN privileges.  She already knows how expensive and out of hand that'll get if I ever start!  But I can feel for you guys.  You can't see the sats naked eye but they're definitely present at 50x!



#13 t_image

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Posted 27 March 2020 - 09:31 AM

As Bob mentioned previously,

the 'train' is a temporary result of the simple way the Starlinks are deployed from the fairing at a lower altitude  than final orbit. As each slowly raises its altitude while maintaining the same orbital path, each will slowly spread out....

With some 60 satellites in a launch/orbital plane,

it means a train will eventually takes over 90 minutes for 60 to pass.

But put you astronomy skills together and that means the Earth rotates over that +minute so the next ones will pass from a different position.

Add to the since the Earth rotates,

the angle of the Sun will change in reference to shining off each satellite,

and each will have an altogether different look (they are not spheres) due to change in angle......

If you determined to watch them pass every night such would happen (550km target alt).

 

This explains why there are now hundreds up but only small recently launched trains can be noticed......

It also suggests a 'train' experience sampling will lead you to a really bad conclusion if you don't think through basic astronomy concepts......



#14 MikeMiller

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Posted 27 March 2020 - 09:43 AM

SO let me ask..... When they finally and fully deploy to service, how densely positioned do we expect them to be?

Each launch puts up 60 satellites, and there have been 6 launches so far, totaling 360 satellites.  (minus any that have already failed, it takes at least 2 years for them to deorbit)

 

They are approved to put up 12,000 satellites. 

 

When they are done, it will be something like this:  https://en.wikipedia...anes_22each.png



#15 t_image

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Posted 27 March 2020 - 09:56 AM

SO let me ask..... When they finally and fully deploy to service, how densely positioned do we expect them to be?

 

.......  You can't see the sats naked eye but they're definitely present at 50x!

I'm confused by your conclusions drawn based on faulty assumptions??????

Who said you can't see satellites naked eye?

The visual conditions depend on

  • the angular pass overhead with respect to Sun and observer,

(ie time,date,location seen)

  • the orientation of a satellite's shiny bits at the time,
  • the altitude of the satellite and transparency/seeing conditions....

Satellites don't glow with a constant magnitude.......

I easily saw the train of the first launch of Starlinks naked eye because I planned and took advantage of conditions needed...

Kindof like right now during equinox time one can see visually Geostationary satellites at 36,000km flare to as bright as Mag. 2 if one knows when/where/how to spot them.......

 

https://www.cloudyni...pse-aside-trees
 




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