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What is that?! SpaceX’s Starlink satellites explained

23 May 2021, 12:00 UTC
What is that?! SpaceX’s Starlink satellites explained
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View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Here at EarthSky, we’re receiving many excited emails about sightings of lights traveling together across the night sky. UFOs? No. Usually, people are seeing Starlink satellites. Roger Oban in Tucson, Arizona, captured this photo of Starlinks on May 5, 2021. He wrote: “Shot in my backyard. I was just about to shut down, when 5 satellites came through, all in a straight line.” Thank you, Roger!
Starlink is the name of a satellite network that SpaceX is developing to provide global broadband coverage for high-speed internet access, particularly for people across the world in rural and remote areas. SpaceX has launched more than 600 new Starlinks this year, typically launching 60 at a time. As of last week, that places the number of Starlink satellites currently in orbit at more than 1,500. Over the coming few years, SpaceX plans to send up at least 12,000 Starlink satellites. Satellite internet is beamed through space at a rate that’s reportedly 47% faster than fiber-optic cable internet. All well and good. But the Starlinks are bright. They can be seen in the night sky. Each launch creates what’s being called megaconstellations – groups of satellites moving together. ...

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