Starlink tracker: When to see Elon Musk’s SpaceX satellites tonight



On a clear night you’ll get a good look at the Starlink satellites (Getty) If you need a break from Zoom quizzes or family arguments tonight, you can step outside and spend a couple of minutes looking up at the night sky.

The reason is that if you look carefully you’ll be able to see SpaceX’s chain of Starlink satellites moving across the heavens.

The Starlink satellites are passing across the UK this week and if you’re outside at the right time you’ll have a good chance of spotting them.

Tonight, you need to be looking up at 9.35pm to see the satellites.

The satellites will move from west to southeast across the sky. To spot them, start looking just above the horizon (10 degrees) at 9.35pm and track directly upwards and across the sky.

If you need some help, there are a variety of trackers to help you zero in on their location. One of the best to check is Satflare – which you can find here .

Satflare is a good way of finding where Starlink is (Satflare) Alternatively, if you have an iPhone, you can download an app called Starlink Tracker which gives you times and dates for your location.

You’ll be able to discern the satellites if you allow your eyes to adjust to the dimness and look out for the movement across the sky. They look like fast-moving stars.

How do Starlink satellites work?

Each satellite has four antennas on board (Picture: Starlink)

The satellites draw their power from the sun (Picture: Starlink) Starlink’s ultimate aim is to beam down internet signal across the planet.

SpaceX ultimately plans to put 12,000 of them in orbit.

Each Starlink satellite is equipped with four powerful phased array antennas that are capable of an enormous amount of throughput when it comes to radio waves. Therefore, internet signal can be communicated up to a satellite and spread out through the network before being fired back down again to any location on Earth.

Delivering internet via satellite is much more efficient because the signal travels 47% faster as a wave through the vacuum of space than it does being channelled along a fibre optic cable buried in the ground.

From an infrastructure perspective, it also means there’s no need to lay vast amounts of cabling across parts of the world.

Current satellites sending internet signals are around 22,236 miles (35,786 km) above the Earth. This results in a time delay in sending and receiving data. Starlink satellites are smaller and orbit closer, meaning they can carry and triangulate data much faster.

Successful deployment of 60 Starlink satellites confirmed pic.twitter.com/h3e6QmKRue — SpaceX (@SpaceX) April 22, 2020

Elon Musk has said the Starlink network would be able to provide ‘minor’ internet coverage after 400 spacecraft were up and in orbit and ‘moderate’ coverage after about 800 satellites became...

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