If you’ve seen strange lights forming a line in the sky over the weekend, don’t panic, you haven’t come close to being abducted by aliens. SpaceX has sent a Falcon 9 launcher with 53 Starlink satellites into orbit. It is the latter that could be observed from the ground.
It’s called a satellite train, it’s linked to a launch of around 50 Starlink satellites that took place on Friday afternoon.explains science communicator at the ASTROlab of Mont-Mégantic National Park Guillaume Poulin.
It looks a bit like a Christmas wreath, it’s strange and impressivehe adds.
The phenomenon will repeat itself, since the satellites continue their orbit around the planet. If the sky is clear, the light train will be visible at 8:27 p.m. on August 23, according to the site findstarlink.com. Launches of this kind will also continue, according to Guillaume Poulin.
People can expect to see more of these, because SpaceX has a very high launch rate. Besides, next Saturday, August 27, there will be two launches, two groups of Starlink satellites that will be launched a few hours apart.
The defect of these satellites is that astronomical observation will be disrupted.
Whether it’s for you and me who observe the sky, who are constantly going to see satellites through the stars and the constellations, but also for astronomical observatories which are going to see satellites passing more and more frequently in their images, in their data … It will create problems for astronomical research, for radio astronomypoints out Guillaume Poulin.
It also recalls the regulatory void affecting space. The latter makes it difficult for the scientific community to intervene to limit potential problems.
However, Starlink satellites represent a major asset for certain communities, since they allow access to high-speed Internet even in the most remote places. Moreover, the Quebec government, which has promised to provide high-speed Internet access to all Quebecers by the end of September 2022, is offering financial assistance to certain residences to access Starlink services.