Our night sky has changed with the launch and release of new satellites deployed by SpaceX. The Starlink Constellation project will eventually be thousands of satellites sent up into space to provide affordable broadband internet to all on Earth. SpaceX has now launched hundreds of Starlink Satellites.
When’s the Next Starlink Satellite Launch?
In the days after a batch of Starlink Satellites is launched, there’s a window of opportunity to see them close together in their orbit. They appear in a train-like formation, one behind the other. As the days and weeks pass, they then spread out into their individual orbits and will no longer be seen as a train of satellites.
You need to know when the launches are so that you’ll be able to see the satellites when they’re closer together. It depends where you are on planet Earth as to whether or not the train of Starlink Satellites will be visible for you.
Keep up to date with the next launches on RocketLaunch.live.
When and where to look (Perth and surrounds):
Here are some times for the next opportunity to see a train of Starlink Satellites in the Western Australian night sky.
Monday, 4th May 2020
Try from 6:11am. From this time there’s a group of the Starlink satellites appearing close together, moving from the south west to the north east.
Tuesday, 5th May 2020
6:07am. From this time there’s a group of the Starlink Satellites appearing close together travelling from the south west towards the north east.
Wednesday, 6th May 2020
5:34am. This will be the best morning to view the Starlink satellites as they’ll be at their brightest. The satellites will be travelling from the south west towards the north east. This night is a better chance to see the satellites because they will appear brighter and be higher in the night sky.
Thursday, 7th May 2020
5:38am. The satellites will be travelling from the north west towards the north east.
Friday, 8th May 2020
On this morning you can spot the satellites at around 5:01am. The satellites will be travelling from the north west towards the north east.
What to look for:
A single satellite looks like a star moving slowly and steadily across the night sky. Starlink Satellites will appear like a train of stars, one behind the other, moving slowly in a line. Some appear closer together which looks unusual in the night sky.
The Starlink Satellites are definitely not as bright as the International Space Station, so make sure you’re in a place shielded from artificial light pollution. This will help your eyes pick up the fainter satellites.
We only see satellites in the hour or so after sunset or before sunrise. That’s the time we’re in the right position to see the sunlight reflect off these objects in space.
Watch a video of how the first “Starlink Train” of satellites appeared in the night sky as imaged by Marco Langbroek, Leiden, the Netherlands.
Hot Topic of Conversation
Eventually there will be tens of thousands of these satellites launched. This has caused concern to many astronomers, with the possibility of collisions with other satellites and reflectivity of thousands of satellites disturbing observations of distant objects. There has been a lot of debate about the project. To find out more, there are some interesting views and reviews of having so many satellites in low Earth orbit.
- First, hear SpaceX talk about the Starlink project
- Read some views about the project – Scott Manly, Astrophysicist. SpaceX’s Elon Musk responds to questions on GeekWire. Jonathan O’Callaghan, science journalist. International Dark-Sky Association. Fraser Caine on Universe Today.
- A statement on the Starlink Satellite project has also been released by the International Astronomical Union.
Discover How to Track the Starlink Satellites
A couple of good places to find out when you can see the Starlink Satellites at your location are:
There are also some apps of course: