Video: Starlink train crossing sky
Look carefully at the video above, and you’ll see a Starlink satellite train captured by Canadian astrophotographer Alan Dyer. SpaceX had launched these satellites just two days before Alan caught them, on May 14, 2022. So they were still in a low orbit – relatively close to Earth – and looked brighter than they would a few days later, when each satellite would have boosted itself to a higher orbit. Alan wrote on LinkedIn on May 18, 2022:
Here’s a real-time video recording of the passage of a newly-launched batch of StarLink satellites crossing the sky, showing them as they appear to the unaided eye. They are bright for the first few days after launch. This was May 16, 2022.
Thank for showing us, Alan! By the way, Alan included an interesting narration, in which he describes seeing a Starlink train whose individual satellites looked as bright as a 1st-magnitude star, that is, as bright as the sky’s brightest stars. But again they do get fainter in the days following launch. As Eric Betz explained at a 2021 article at Astronomy.com:
Once launched, a Falcon 9 launch vehicle deploys its batch of 60 Starlink satellites into an initial ‘parking orbit’ at around 270 miles (440 km) above Earth. From there, the individual satellites unfurl their solar panels and slowly start to spread out around the planet. Each satellite also uses its thrusters to gradually boost itself to a higher altitude … As the satellites climb, they grow dimmer, reflecting less sunlight back toward Earth.
There are now about 2,500 Starlinks in orbit around Earth, and SpaceX is launching at a breakneck pace to get more up there. They’ll be used to establish a network for global internet coverage. In fact, the company launched another batch on May 18, 2022, as shown in the Facebook post below:
In case you’re interested, the video below shows the May 14, 2022, launch of the same Starlinks Alan captured on May 16.
Bottom line: Video from May 16, 2022, showing a Starlink satellite train crossing the sky as viewed from Canada. And a second video, showing those satellites’ launch two days earlier on May 14.