SpaceX, Elon Musk’s space company, keeps launching “Starlink” satellites into space. If you look carefully at the sky, you can see the “string of pearls”.
- SpaceXbillionaire’s private space company Elon Muskoperates the largest fleet of satellites in Earth orbit.
- the “Starlink”-Satellites should enable fast internet in all corners of the earth, but researchers and the US space agency NASA worried.
- The “Starlinks” are often visible as “strings of pearls” or “strings of lights” in the sky at dusk and dawn.
Update from Wednesday, May 18, 2022: SpaceX’s “Starlink” satellites could be clearly visible in the sky again in the near future. In April and May, Elon Musk’s private space company launched six rockets, each carrying 53 Internet satellites, and there are currently 2,405 SpaceX satellites in orbit, of which 2,374 are operational, according to astronomer Jonathan McDowell on his private website.
In May alone, SpaceX sent four rockets, each with 53 satellites, into space – the “Starlink” satellites in particular, which have not been in earth orbit for long, could be seen in the sky. The last rocket launches took place on May 18, 14 and 13, 2022. Experts criticize the numerous rocket launches and fear that the Rocket exhaust impacts on the climate and the Earth’s atmosphere can have.
Important to know
If you spot an inexplicable “string of lights” or “strings of pearls” streaking across the dark sky, there’s a very good chance they’re SpaceX’s “Starlink” satellites. Shortly after launch, the satellites are still very close together, so the appearance in the sky can take on other forms.
Strange “light chain” observed in the sky? “Starlink” satellites could be behind it
Update from Thursday, March 03, 2022: “Starlink”, the satellite megaconstellation from SpaceX, which is intended to make fast internet available worldwide from space, is currently on everyone’s lips: SpaceX boss Elon Musk recently activated the “Starlink” Internet in Ukraine and a short time later brought the appropriate hardware to the war-torn country. Today, Thursday (03/03/2022) at 3:35 p.m., a “Falcon 9” rocket from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida transported the next 47 “Starlink” satellites into space.
SpaceX has been considered the largest satellite operator for some time. Prior to the March 3 launch, SpaceX according to observer Jonathan McDowell 1970 active “Starlink” satellites in Earth orbit – after launch, SpaceX exceeds the number of 2000 active satellites.
Newsletter on astronomy and space travel
Elon Musk’s “Starlink” satellite constellation is constantly expanding
First report from Friday, February 25, 2022: Frankfurt – If you look at the starry sky in Germany for a few minutes, you will most likely see them: More or less bright points of light that move quickly across the sky. Provided they aren’t blinking, these dots of light are satellites, and there’s a good chance they’re a very specific type of satellite: SpaceX’s “Starlink” satellites. Elon Musk’s private space company has launched more than 2,000 of these small satellites into orbit since 2019, and almost 1,900 of them are still active and are currently orbiting the earth.
The flat satellites should provide fast Internet in all corners of the world, including in Germany you can already book and use the “Starlink” service. But in the astronomy community, Elon Musk’s ambitious project – he plans to launch a five-digit number of satellites into different orbits – is controversial. And the US space agency Nasa is concerned.
SpaceX’s “Starlink” satellites are frowned upon in the astronomy community
Above all, these two points are met with criticism from professional and amateur sky observers:
- Criticism one: The satellites can be seen in the sky, despite SpaceX’s best efforts. This does not bother the occasional look at the starry sky, because the satellites are no longer as conspicuous as they used to be several days after the start. But shots with longer exposure times, such as in astrophotography or sky observations with sensitive telescopes, are sometimes severely disturbed by the satellites. Experts even fear that the “Starlink” satellites, which regularly move across the sky, hamper the search for potentially dangerous near-Earth asteroids at dawn and dusk could.
- Criticism two: SpaceX has already sent more than 2000 satellites into orbit and has long since become the largest satellite operator. Experts criticize, among other things, that Elon Musk’s company with its large number of satellites is “clogging” the low earth orbit – which is also used by numerous other satellites. In addition, the numerous rocket launches are criticized from an environmental point of view, as well as the large number of satellites that will one day crash and burn up in earth orbit. What effects does this have on the earth’s atmosphereis by no means entirely clear.
Elon Musk is busy launching rockets with “Starlink” satellites
But SpaceX and Elon Musk are not dissuaded by this criticism and continue to launch their rockets. Also the loss of 40 “Starlink” satellites shortly after launch – they were hit by a solar storm and crashed – did not stop the company from launching numerous “Starlink” satellites into space for the fifth time in 2022 on Friday (02/25/2022).
“Starlink” satellites: Like a “string of pearls” or “string of lights” in the dark sky
Even if the satellites after the bad experience with the solar storm deployed in a higher Earth orbit, they may be visible brightly in the night sky. The “Starlink” satellites in the sky are particularly noticeable in the first few days after launch: They are still relatively close together and look like a “string of pearls” or “string of lights” in the sky. The “Starlink” satellites are also sometimes described as a “chain of stars”. When SpaceX’s first internet satellites were launched in May 2019, their appearance in the sky was also known as the “Starlink” train or “Starlink” train.
In some cases, the satellites are so conspicuous in the sky, especially after they have been launched, that observers believe they are seeing a UFO. Whenever “Starlink” satellites are launched, the reports at the UFO reporting center are piling up. 2021 reported “Starlink” satellites 41 percent of the observations reported to the Cenap UFO reporting office. (tab) *fr.de is an offer from IPPEN.MEDIA.
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