Starlink satellites are visible at night. How to watch them from your location (it’s spectacular!)

This article was published more than a year ago. Since then, the Starlink satellite fleet has grown even more, and now, the planet is orbited by over 1,500 satellites (which means they can be seen in the sky more often). But our guide on how to search for those satellites in the night sky and watch them remains relevant.

In April, Elon Musk’s SpaceX successfully orbited 60 more Starlink satellites. Their fleet now comprises a total of 420 spacecraft. Elon Musk’s satellites will be used to enhance the global Internet coverage.

The satellites revolve around the Earth along several trajectories and can be observed from various points. This looks quite spectacular: bright dots moving in a line one after another that are clearly visible in the night sky.

Photo: The Sun

To watch them from your location, you can use the Findstarlink website.

To find out when Elon Musk’s satellites will fly over your city or town, select your location (for example, there are four locations for Ukraine: Kyiv, Kharkiv, Odesa, and Lviv). Then the service will display several dates and times when a group of satellites will fly over this territory. Every time, the flight takes several minutes, so you will have time to find them in the sky.

Looking at the results, you might want to note the “Elevation (from horizon)” parameter. The greater the indicator, the higher the group will fly above the horizon. You can also view the flight trajectories of the groups on this website.

The satellite overflight times can also be checked on the Heavens Above website or in the application. To do this, first, specify your location on the map and then select the object you are interested in from the “Satellites” list.

Compared with Findstarlink, this website is a little more complex, but here, you can select your exact location and obtain more detailed data on the brightness of the satellite group, depending on their position above the horizon.

The “Brightness” parameter shows the magnitude, or luminosity, of an object (the lower, the brighter it will be to view)

And clicking on the time of passage (highlighted in blue), you can access a star chart with the trajectory: this way, it will be easier to locate the group, navigating by the familiar constellations.

Musk has been repeatedly criticized in that the bright satellite groups (which will only grow in number) obstruct observations of the night sky, particularly in amateur astronomy. That is why the company has stated it would reduce the apparent brightness of the satellites.