Starlinks

Hey everybody,

I know that Trusat’s main purpose is to track satellite positions. However, as many of you have probably heard, there is some debate as to the brightness the starlink satellites as they are being launched into ultimately a constellation of world girdling orbits. You can make valuable observations of these even if you can’t pinpoint the position.

For instance, I have been printing out the nightly list of visible satellites from heavens-above.com and comparing what magnitude I see vs. what is predicted at the highest point in the path of a satellite (culmination). Even if you’re not comfortable making brightness reports, it would be very valuable if you report whether or not it flared up very brightly for a short time, or just stayed steady the entire pass.

Then for your report to TruSat, you can just pick off the altitude and direction from the list, and then type in a magnitude, or just whether it flared or not in the optical behavior or notes part of the form.

And don’t forget, imaging is certainly a great way to record them also. It’s a little harder to determine their brightness from the trails they leave as they pass across the sky, but with practice you can certainly do this to. And, you can easily tell if they flared up or not from the image.

This would be very helpful in gathering more data on these fascinating satellites. And if you don’t choose to report them here, at least go out and look at them, because they can be very interesting to watch as they pass across the sky.

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