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Elon Musk’s Starlink satellites set for double pass over UK tonight

Starlink satellites moving across the sky (Astrit Spanca)
Starlink satellites moving across the sky (Astrit Spanca)

Space fans will have two chances tonight to see a chain of SpaceX satellites pass overhead.

The Starlink satellites are set to move across the UK sky this evening, following earlier passes last month.

The satellites move in a distinct line across the sky with the first set visible at 10pm going over the south from the south west.

Then at 11.38pm, they will be visible again from the west passing overhead.

Each satellite will be about 20 seconds apart as they pass. You may have some extra moonlight to content with, as we are heading towards a full moon.

If you’re struggling to follow them, you can use findstarlink.com on your mobile phone which provides a live map of the exact position of the satellites. You can add in your location to get timings for each pass over as well as a guide on how bright they’re likely to be.

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The satellites appear as bright dots moving across the night sky in a perfect line as they orbit the Earth. There are currently 420 Starlink satellites in orbit and SpaceX plans to put 12,000 up there eventually.

An artist's impression of the Starlink satellites (SpaceX)
An artist’s impression of the Starlink satellites (SpaceX)

The company, founded by billionaire Elon Musk, says these satellites will create a global internet network accessible from any place on Earth.

‘With performance that far surpasses that of traditional satellite internet, and a global network unbounded by ground infrastructure limitations, Starlink will deliver high speed broadband internet to locations where access has been unreliable, expensive, or completely unavailable,’ SpaceX writes on its website.

epa08372362 A computer-generated image from several long-exposure images shows Starlink satellites in the sky above the concrete base of a former heating plant in Salgotarjan, Hungary, 20 April 2020. Movement of satellites are seen as shining tracks. The Starlink programme is a global satellite project of the American rocket company SpaceX to provide worldwilde internet service. EPA/PETER KOMKA HUNGARY OUT
A computer-generated image from several long-exposure images shows Starlink satellites in the sky (Credits: EPA)

At present Starlink is a part of SpaceX but there have been rumours it may be spun-off into a separate company.

The eventual aim could be to capture a big piece of the $1 trillion worldwide internet connectivity market. Revenue from that could help fund SpaceX’s greater ambitions to colonise Mars.

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Source: Metro News UK

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