After a year of trying, I finally saw the SpaceX Starlink satellites fly over. It was pretty spectacular.
Since SpaceX started launching these things, the full train of dots flying across the sky has eluded me, usually because of wether. Not this time. Kind of.
On Wednesday night, clouds got in the way of a not very bright pass that was low on the horizon. Even with clear skies, it would have not been great.
But not Thursday night. The Starlink train would be directly overhead and was going to be very bright. I set up in the driveway with my camera pointed straight up.
The header picture is just one of the 16 frames of the Statlink sats doing their thing. While they appear to all be in a single file line, they aren’t. They have been fanning out since being launched. And they are in two distinct groups in very different orbits.
What we saw we just the first group of maybe 38 of the 60. This is all 16 frames stacked.
On Friday night, they were to come by again, not quite as bright, but pretty close. And the pass was going to make for a pretty epic picture. They were going to come down across the sky towards the horizon. I had it all lined up so they would be converging on the tip of this metal sculpture in a park downtown.
Except nothing happened. I saw a few flickers I the sky, but no train of satellite. In fact, not one of my photo friends across the state saw much of anything. It seems the angle of the satellite’s solar panels were probably adjust between Thursday and Friday to make them not as reflective.
Upon looking at all my shots, I did get five satellite flares in three frames from them. Three flares from the first group that would have appeared to be heading towards the sculpture and two from the second group moving sideways across the shot.
Had they still been putting on a show, the picture would have been something else. Oh well.
There will be a few more Starlink launches before the updated, less reflective ones go up. If the weather cooperates and they happen to pass by in the just the right spot, maybe I’ll get the shot. Or not. It’s taken me a year and seven launches to get this.