SpaceX Starlink launches for March are complete

Starlink launches in March 2023

Starlink Group 5-10: March 29, 2023, 20:01 UTC (4:01 p.m. EDT)
Falcon 9 Block 5 | Cape Canaveral, Florida | SUCCESS

Starlink Group 5-5: March 24, 2023, 15:33 UTC (11:33 a.m. EDT)
Falcon 9 Block 5 | Cape Canaveral, Florida | SUCCESS

Starlink Group 2-8: March 17, 2023, 19:26 UTC (3:26 p.m. EDT)
Falcon 9 Block 5 | Vandenberg SFB, California | SUCCESS

Starlink Group 2-7: March 3, 2023, 18:38 UTC (1:38 p.m. EST)
Falcon 9 Block 5 | Vandenberg SFB, California | SUCCESS

You can watch above or go directly to SpaceX’s YouTube channel for a livestream of the launch. Livestreams typically begin about five minutes before liftoff.

After launch, look for a train of lights

Following every Starlink launch, the internet buzzes with people asking:

What’s that long line of lights in the sky that looks like a train?

What you’re seeing is the Starlink satellites moving into a higher orbit. You can check to see if they will pass over your area using the Find Starlink website.

Starlink: The silhouette of a cylindrical vehicle lifts upward into the evening sky, leaving a huge cloud to its left.
Starlink launch on February 27, 2023. Image via SpaceX.

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Growing numbers amid controversy

According to Wikipedia, as of February 2023 Starlink consists of over 3,580 mass-produced small satellites in low Earth orbit that communicate with designated ground transceivers. They provide internet access to more than one million subscribers.

Love ’em or hate ’em, these Starlink satellites are part of SpaceX’s vision for a global internet communication satellite constellation. They deliver high-speed internet service worldwide, mainly to locations where ground-based internet is unreliable, unavailable or expensive. The private company is well-known for launching batches back-to-back, several times a month, regularly lofting 60 satellites at a time. And SpaceX plans to build up to perhaps as many as 30,000 eventually.

Most thought it was exciting to see the first few Starlink satellites traveling together in the night sky. But then more were launched, and then more. And astronomers began to worry.

Because Starlinks are bright, astronomers say they’re photobombing astronomical images. Therefore, they have the potential to interfere with the professional astronomical observations that have brought us our modern-day view of the cosmos. And although SpaceX has tried to address the issue, they remain far from what astronomers say is acceptable.

Bottom line: There were four SpaceX Starlink launches in March. Learn more about the launches here and find a link to locate Starlink satellites in your sky.

Read more from EarthSky: Starlink satellites can look like a plume or train of light

Via Space Launch Schedule

March 29, 2023

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