SpaceX is throwing a party in the sky, and everyone’s invited. Well, everyone with a telescope and a clear night sky in the path of the company’s 60 Starlink satellites.
The satellites were launched on Thursday as part of SpaceX’s plan to bring high-speed internet to anyone in the world, regardless of their location. The connected satellites were part of the fifth Falcon 9 launch this year.
Just 24 hours after they launched, Dutch satellite tracker Marco Langbroek got this incredible video of the satellites marching across the night sky, Space.com reports.
Langbroek did the math to figured out when and where the satellites would be and grabbed his camera. He told fans of his SatTrack Cam blog.
It started with two faint, flashing objects moving into the field of view. Then, a few tens of seconds later, my jaw dropped as the “train” entered the field of view. I could not help shouting “OAAAAAH!!!!” (followed by a few expletives...).
Langbroek wasn’t the only stargazer in the Netherlands to catch the spectacle. One hundred and fifty of his fellow Dutchmen and women reported possible alien activity or Russian attack in the skies, according to Phys.org. Curious folks in the Netherlands can catch the train of satellites moving across the sky around 1 a.m.
These 60 satellites are now circling the globe in low earth orbit and will someday be joined by 800 sister satellites, weighing pounds lbs each. While the service would be operational at 800 satellites, ultimately, the mega-constellation would include 12,000 satellites. It will take dozens of launches to get the internet service into action and is expected to be in service by the mid 2020s.
While Langbroek was pumped to catch the satellites on camera, he did share some reservations with Space.com.
“I do worry a bit what this will do to the night sky when there are thousands of them. I wonder if SpaceX has realized how bright they are. Of course they will maneuver some 100 km higher, but still, they are bright.”