If you look at the sky this week, you might see a fleet of lights flying through the night sky.
But before you worry that the lights are a sign of an alien invasion, fortunately there is a simple explanation – they are Elon Musk Starlink Satellite!
They form constellations of thousands of satellites, and are designed to provide low-cost broadband internet services from low Earth orbit.
The satellite will be seen twice this week, on May 12 and May 14.
While your location will change how Starlink looks, most viewers in the UK should be able to see it.
Here is a summary of the best times to see Starlink satellites this week, and how to track them through the night sky.
What time can you see Starlink satellite views this week?
There will be two opportunities for you to see Starlink satellites from the UK this week.
The satellite will be seen on:
10:59 a.m., May 12, 2020
10:36, May 14 2020
How to track Starlink satellites
If you want to track satellites directly, you can visit Find the Starlink website.
This site allows you to see satellite locations in real-time on a map, or enter your location to see exactly when satellites will be seen from your home.
Results are filtered based on how bright the satellite is, so make sure you see what is listed as ‘Bright’.
What is Starlink Satellite?
Elon Musk hopes that satellite will bring cheap internet to remote areas on Earth.
Starlink explained: “With performance far beyond traditional satellite internet, and a global network that is not limited by land infrastructure limitations, Starlink will provide high-speed broadband internet to locations where access is unreliable, expensive, or completely unavailable.”
However, some astronomers have raised concerns that one of the satellites could pass in front of the telescope and blur the image.
In a recent study, published in arXiv, researchers led by Stefano Gallozzi, wrote: “Depending on the surface height and reflectivity, their contribution to sky brightness cannot be ignored for professional observations on land.
“With a large number of around 50,000 new artificial satellites for telecommunications planned to be launched in Medium and Low Earth Orbits, the average density of artificial objects will be> 1 satellite for sky level squares; this will definitely endanger professional astronomical imagery.”
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