A possible spotting of SpaceX’s new internet satellites


Sky viewing conditions tonight: GOOD

Moon rise: 2:24 a.m.

Moon phase: Waning Crescent, 33% illumination

What to look for in the night sky tonight

Some of you may have heard of SpaceX’s ambitious endeavor to bring internet to the globe. They just launched 60 Starlink satellites on May 23rd and they will be launching more in the future. These satellites form a train of lights that are barely visible with the naked eye. I haven’t been looking for them but I will this evening. For those of you familiar with how satellites look in the night sky you know they look like a faint star moving across the sky.

According to the website, Heavens Above, the first of these Starlink satellites will be visible tonight at 9:15 at 10 degrees above the western sky. It will rise to 31 degrees by 9:18 in the northwest sky. It should be followed by a string of 59 other satellites. It’s apparently best to try to see them through binoculars. The last one should pass through by 9:35.

These satellites will soon offer some of the best internet for the world. Six more launches of 60 satellites will be needed to achieve SpaceX’s goal. There is no word on what the cost of this service will be, but it is expected to be faster than any land-based option. That’s because the satellites communicate by laser and light travels faster in space than it does through glass fiber optic cable. Pretty cool stuff, right?

Even if you don’t see these satellites it should be a pleasant night to step outside. Be sure and look for Jupiter in the southeast. It sure has been shining bright in the evening! Also, look for the Big Dipper right overhead.

You all have a pleasant evening!

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