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posted by Fnord666 on Sunday February 23 2020, @05:33PM   Printer-friendly
from the how-it-works-is-up-in-the-air dept.

How Does Starlink Work Anyway?:

No matter what you think of Elon Musk, it's hard to deny that he takes the dictum "There's no such thing as bad publicity" to heart. From hurling sports cars into orbit to solar-powered roof destroyers, there's little that Mr. Musk can't turn into a net positive for at least one of his many ventures, not to mention his image.

Elon may have gotten in over his head, though. His plan to use his SpaceX rockets to fill the sky with thousands of satellites dedicated to providing cheap Internet access ran afoul of the astronomy community, which has decried the impact of the Starlink satellites on observations, both in the optical wavelengths and further down the spectrum in the radio bands. And that's with only a tiny fraction of the planned constellation deployed; once fully built-out, they fear Starlink will ruin Earth-based observation forever.

What exactly the final Starlink constellation will look like and what impact it would have on observations depend greatly on the degree to which it can withstand regulatory efforts and market forces. Assuming it does survive and gets built out into a system that more or less resembles the current plan, what exactly will Starlink do? And more importantly, how will it accomplish its stated goals?

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 24 2020, @02:23AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 24 2020, @02:23AM (#961673)

    That was almost definitely not a Starlink. Here [] is a link where you can sign up to SpotTheStation - it's for the ISS. The ISS is flying quite a lot higher than the Starlinks and so its perceived velocity would be lower. It's also about the size of a football field rather than a whatever the StarLink sats are - probably a square meter or two, if that?

    The point of this is that it should be way brighter, and way slower than a Starlink - and it's *definitely* not what you'd call a "bright spot just hanging there." Maybe a Chinese lantern? As they reach higher altitudes they start to seem to stand still until they gradually fade from distance (or burn out) and could look somewhat similar to what you're describing, especially if it had an orangish glow.