Starlink satellites are usually invisible to the eye. But two astrophotographers Ron and Mark Murray, who are fond of auroras, recorded 49 satellites as they flew over the shining sky in Alaska. Ironically, Murray has long dreamed of high-speed Starlink Internet in his home. He just witnessed the flight of satellites delivered to orbit on August 31 from the Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. On September 2, the Starlink swarm reached Alaska – it was on this day that Murray filmed the auroras. The photographer managed to get a fascinating satellite video along with a spectacular atmospheric phenomenon.
They also help guide photo sky explorers to remote locations, away from light pollution, to get their own incredible photos of the night sky. The astrophotographers know the area very well to determine the best place to observe the aurora borealis and even offer tourists the opportunity to rent their photographic equipment for the night. Hot cocoa is also available for Alaska’s cold frosty nights.
Other works by Ron and Mark Murray can be viewed on their Instagram.
Why does Starlink shine so brightly?
The reason that the Starlink satellites shine so brightly is that they were in low orbit at an altitude of 320 km above the surface immediately after launch. At this altitude, a satellite Internet constellation can easily darken the stars in the night sky. But then the Starlink system rises to a height of 600 km and becomes invisible.
SpaceX often launches “Starlinks”. A fresh batch of 51 satellites was sent from Cape Canaveral on September 5 – on that day, the next planned launch of the NASA SLS rocket failed. Together with the Starlink fleet, the BlueWalker 3 and AST SpaceMobile satellites were sent into space.
Earlier we talked about what auroras are and what they are on different planets of the Solar system.
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