In case you’re an amateur stargazer or just, generally, interested in the night sky and follow the news, you would be looking up tonight to catch the Lyrid meteor shower. But, there’s an added treat: tonight, if you look up (in the UK) and see a flurry of lights in a series, you might have caught SpaceX’s Starlink low-orbit satellites.
FYI, the Lyrid meteor shower will be visible all over the Northern Hemisphere for a few days now.
The satellites would have been visible last night too, in case you caught a linear series of lights in the night sky.
In the UK, for six minutes from 9:23 pm onwards, if you look from South-West to East, you can catch the satellites doing their rounds.
Starlink is Musk’s brainchild, part of something he has been planning to do for a long time now: improve internet coverage all over the world using satellites, an idea that can be traced to Nikola Tesla’s idea to provide wireless, free electricity to everyone using a tower transmission center.
The most recent launch was the fifth launch in the series, taking the satellite count to 300. The goal is to reach 4425 satellites.
SpaceX recently filed plans with the USA’s Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in which they said: “Once fully deployed, the SpaceX System will pass over virtually all parts of the Earth’s surface and therefore, in principle, have the ability to provide ubiquitous global service.”
“Every point on the Earth’s surface will see, at all times, a SpaceX satellite.”