Did you see him on Saturday night? If this is not the case, the phenomenon is still to be observed this Sunday at 9:42 p.m. 53 satellites forming a luminous trail are currently passing, in particular, in the Alsatian sky. This is Elon Musk’s Starlink project.
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If the phenomenon is not new, it is still surprising. Saturday August 20, shortly before 10 p.m., many Bas-Rhinois were able to observe, for a few minutes, a string of perfectly aligned light points advancing in the sky. These are 53 minisatellites launched on Friday August 19 from Cape Canaveral in Florida by theprivate american space agency Elon Musk’s SpaceX.
These telecommunications satellites should eventually provide high-speed internet access anywhere in the world. No need therefore for antennas nearby to have the network. They are part of a mega-constellation called Starlink that could, in the coming months, “count tens of thousands of satellites in orbit between 330 and 1320 km around the earth“according to the association Weather Tracking Alsace.
Topped with solar panels that shine (thanks to the sun), the satellites will be visible again this Sunday evening at 9:42 p.m. with a passage between the west and the south-east. You will see a luminous line like the one filmed by Gaétan Loeb in Haguenau on Saturday evening.
A project that started in 2015 with a first deployment of 60 mini-satellites in April 2019. Since then, others have followed and will continue to follow. This weekend, it was the 56th batch. SpaceX plans to have 12,000 satellites in operation within three years. New luminous phenomena of this type can therefore still be observed in clear weather.