Insane SpaceX Starlink Satellite Train Flyover Video (Update)

Keith's note: I am wondering if the satellite spacing is some sort of binary message to Richard Branson or Jeff Bezos ... ;-)

Keith's 27 May update: I got this note from a reader, "cmdr2":

"I found out about the "Starlink satellite train" phenomenon yesterday, and I was very excited to find out when it would pass over my city. In case this is helpful to share with your readers, I've written a tool to show when the Starlink train will pass over your city. This tool essentially automates the steps that seemed to be working for redditors on r/space. A number of them have confirmed that they managed to see it using this tool. The original instructions were graciously posted by u/CreeperIan02 on reddit, and it involves a fair bit of data crunching to figure out. This tool simplifies that. It is based on Jens Satre's original code, modified for Starlink's data and a simpler interface. For your reference, the original instructions posted on reddit (that this tool automates): I've updated the tool to use the new tracking data shared by Marco yesterday, and only show timings 90 mins after sunset or 90 mins before sunrise (to improve accuracy)."

Keith's 29 May update: This internal letter was sent out by Kevin B. Marvel, Executive Officer, American Astronomical Society to trustees and other members:

"Dear Trustees,

As many of you are aware, Elon Musk's company SpaceX has launched some satellites to provide Internet service from space to ground. They are quite visible and videos of their night time appearance have been widely disseminated on the Internet, with a wide range of responses.

Although much data still needs to be gathered about their impact on astronomical research from the ground and the general quality of the night sky for all, the Twitterverse is exploding right now on the matter and calls for prompt action are now descending on our leadership, our committees and the Executive Office."

Full Letter after the link

"At times like these, it is important to let folks know what we are doing and that we are taking a reasoned and informed approach to responding instead of responding quickly without complete information and understanding. This is why our positions are widely respected in the policy environment and our reputation as balanced and careful players in the policy space remains secure.

I am writing to let you know what the AAS is currently doing and will also share this information with our AAS Agents for broader dissemination.

First off, we have a committee of experts on Light Pollution, RFI and Space Debris and they've been tracking this since the beginning (and some before) and are formulating a position statement for the Board to consider. I'm not sure they will be done by the June meeting, but I believe they are working toward that goal...they've kept Megan informed as they've proceeded (and us here in the EO). They are planning to use the Starlink issue to speak more broadly about the impact of satellites on research and how negative impacts can be minimized along with other issues...but will not focus exclusively on the Starlink issue...far better to establish a significant marker using the notoriety of the current situation.

The CAPP has also been brought in on the issue and are talking up the matter via email. Their thinking will inform any statement and any action proposed for the AAS to take as well as subsequent policy activities.

AAS Deputy Executive Officer and Director for Public Policy, Joel Parriott has been actively tracking the issue and issued a tweet a few hours ago on the matter.

So, if you get any queries along the lines of 'what is the AAS doing about this', now you know.

Please refer any specific questions to Joel or myself. We will respond as best we are able given the rapid development of this matter and our other pending duties prior to the AAS meeting in St. Louis.



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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on May 27, 2019 12:04 PM.

For Some Of Us It Is Deja Vu All Over Again In Outer Space was the previous entry in this blog.

No, NASA Is Not "Going to Mars very soon". is the next entry in this blog.

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