Studying the health of Starlink satellites Ilona Mask

Studying the health of Starlink satellites Ilona Mask

Shimmer beautifully stars in the sky ... But in reality - a locomotive of satellites launched yesterday by Ilon Mask, and for more than a day disturbing minds of those who like to look at the sky for the last 24 hours. Honestly, in reality, with my eyes, it looks very impressive ... A flying spear in the sky with a shaft in the form of dozens of satellites and a tip on the sun's glare. But are all satellites healthy? On closer examination of the recorded frames, it was possible to detect differences ... further under the cut are a few pictures and our video ...

Actually, the news that one can see in our northern latitudes an epic picture of the span of not two, three, not a dozen, but dozens of satellites at the same time could not leave us indifferent and ... surprisingly lucky with the weather, after a week of continuous rain the sky clarified for exactly one hour so that we even had the opportunity to see them. Therefore, taking out Zeiss’s grandfather from a suitcase and armed with a Neva400 camera.

And leave with an attempt to see something on the outskirts of the city ... White nights did not foretell that we would be able to see something ...

But when the satellites appeared beyond the horizon, we realized that we could accurately record such bright satellites. The exposure was set at 40ms and this turned out to be very much, it was possible to set and 20ms, and even 10ms. An old laptop fun wiggled the hard drive, but could not master the whole stream of beautiful four megapixel frames, so there are gaps in the video stream.

Let's not torment, here's the actual flight video itself

Full video, without double clamping is available at the link:
" Starlink Video Source "

On a closer look, you can see that not all satellites behave the same way.

1. The core group of "only" about 45 satellites,

2. Of these, there are several doubles, located about 45-100 meters from each other (the camera resolution turned out to be 45 meters in orbit)

3. And there is a whole bundle of satellites, not less than three, which "stuck together" with a bright spot. (one would assume that this is a stage, but it should have a too much ballistic coefficient, and it would have to be far ahead or far behind the whole grouping)

4. Some satellites are far behind the rest of the group, at least six:

And it would be possible to confine ourselves to this result, if we were very unlucky and we did not catch the bunny from the satellite batteries. The satellites are in a certain orbital orientation, and the glare of their batteries (and the satellites themselves) at a certain position relative to us and the Sun were able to record the camera.

But not all ...

Satellites that are behind the group did not give a glare, perhaps they are not oriented and rotate, just as the lack of orientation may explain why they slow down more slowly about the atmosphere.

Also, some of the satellites in the main group did not give a reflection.

And the group of "stuck together" satellites is also not in the same orientation as all other satellites.

It seems that currently only part of the launch passengers are feeling fine - around 42-45, the rest are experiencing problems with orientation, or the neighboring satellites are too close (within 50-100 meters).
Thanks to Ilona Mask, now many astronomy lovers can regularly observe, consider and discuss the behavior of his companions. =))

Equipment used for shooting:
1. Camera Neva400 NPK Photonics
2. Carl Zeiss 200mm F/2.8 lens
Point and date of shooting:
58.403965, 09.317421; 01: 16-1: 22 May 26, 2019

The point of span was determined by these TLE, the error is not more than a couple of degrees, you can use it to focus on the next couple of days, where to look:

1 70002U 19999A 19144.10416667 .00000000 00000-0 00000-0 0 09
2 70002 053.0000 175.8692 0001467 047.2921 324.9821 15.42070599 01

I also wanted to express my gratitude to Vera (and the entire NPK Photonics team) for the developed camera, Alexey, with whom we left to catch this beauty and who made the frame processing.

Good luck and clear skies.

P.S .: when using these materials - a link to the article is required.

Source text: Studying the health of Starlink satellites Ilona Mask