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When this post is 58 minutes old 38 Starlink satellites will be visible over SV
28 points by natch on March 6, 2020 | hide | past | favorite | 10 comments
Should be going from high in the south to low in the east. They are usually pretty faint but noticeable after you spot them. This is not super unusual, but I happened to have been ready to post today, and they are pretty cool to see if you haven't already. Yes they could interfere with astronomy viewing. Found this on https://james.darpinian.com/satellites/?special=starlink-latest which is not my site.

Estimated time of appearance is 6:34pm.

Updated time in title link because post time changed when I updated text...

Story time: Was once at a military installation in the middle of an experiment. At a critical moment, several security guards barge in and ask to see some paperwork. They had been tipped off to the fact that some of our shipping and receiving and inventory paperwork was out of date (they were absolutely correct, my bad).

I explained that we were in the middle of a very time critical experiment and that afterward we would be happy to subject ourselves to the necessary sanctions; meanwhile could you (guard #1) tell me when the green trace on that o’scope starts wiggling because that’s when you (guard #2) should see a flare across the sky around that hill.

This eventually turned out to be a successful experiment and the security guards had the time of their lives as impromptu laboratory assistants.

Well, that was underwhelming. The twilight was not dark enough yet! 7PM tomorrow might be better, visible high in the north going west to east.

Well, that was cool - not in SV but on the west coast and watched a bunch go over. Like you said, pretty faint but once I saw one it was easy to follow the line to the rest!

The largest issue with this whole thing is that it seems super broken that like 0.00001% of the population knows about this going up, yet it's going to affect 100% of them in a few years. And still no say in it. I mean we're not even giving other countries a say in it. I hope China decides to shoot them all down when they're over with Covid19.

If you're referring to the impact on astronomy, I'm not sure it will be so bad. These ones that are visible have not yet moved up into their working orbit, and most of them will be coated with an ultra black coating in the future, and they are small, about the size of an office chair. Furthermore their orientation can be changed on demand to adjust their albedo for astronomy experiments. They are self deorbiting at their end of life. They are only visible because of the low orbit and during the few minutes when they are lit up by sunlight shortly after dusk. A few minutes after that, they pass out of the sun's illumination and blink out. And whatever negative effects you seem to think there are (not sure what, the astronomy was just a guess), there are also positives balancing that out. Imagine having cheap internet everywhere.

>And still no say in it.

The FCC and the ITU have a say.

>I hope China decides to shoot them all down

That is a less than stellar idea because of the randomly oriented harmful space debris it would create.

Also worth reading for those not aware: https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2020/1/7/21003272/spa...

I know that comparing "hacker" "news" to reddit is "boring" (as dang would put it), but these types of "when this post is X <time units> old <some mundane thing> will happen" are low quality, but highly upvoted garbage that is super common on reddit. And now it's here.

Personally, I found this post interesting. I had never seen the site they linked before, and I found it to be a generally fascinating observation.

Why do you feel it's low quality?

it's useful for less than an hour after submission in one city on earth

Meh, I see your point, however it's many cities, not one, and possibly one of the largest concentration of hn readers. We're talking about something in orbit, so the visibility is over a pretty wide area. And it't not like it ever reached the front page (as far as I know). I don't think there was great harm done. Glad some people appreciated it. I certainly won't repeatedly post it for the several viewings that happen per week! Maybe if there's an especially good one in the future... we'll see.

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