What is Starlink and how does it work

Starlink is a space satellite constellation that delivers high-speed internet connectivity on a global scale. Specifically, SpaceX’s objective with this new service is to give high speed, low latency, high speed internet connections. They will target the portions of the earth that have historically been neglected by technology. These are rural areas, while also potentially offering more competitive rates in metropolitan areas.

A very modest satellite receiver, which customers install in their homes, includes integration to the satellites. These satellite stations — the most recent models of which were certified by the Federal Communications Commission in Mid-2021. These may be deployed almost wherever there is an unobstructed view of the nighttime sky. The majority of users find that placing it up high, either on a tower or on the roof of their home best. This offers the greatest performance. If you have the Starlink app, you may use it to identify the optimal placement for your equipment. The software is compatible with both Android and iOS devices.

Starlink was first announced in 2015 by Elon Musk, the CEO of SpaceX and a well-known Tesla investor. Since then, the programme has successfully launched about 2,000 units, with more scheduled in the future. At the end of the day, Musk envisions many thousand satellites rotating in low Orbit.  And these will connect with all of Starlink’s ground transceivers, according to the company.

How many starlink satellites are in orbit?

When asked how many starlink satellites are in orbit right now to Jonathan McDowell. He is an astronomer who catalogues and tracks artificial space objects, at the Harvard and Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics. He says, there are an accounted 1,915 Starlink satellites in the near earth orbit. This number is bound to go up to a lot more. It is becuase they has a planned schedule to launch a ton more over the coming years.
starlink satellites are in orbit
There have been a lot of incidents through which starlink has also lost a lot of satellites. That number is approximately 40 this year which is a very small fraction of the total number of satellites available. Therefore the loss of such a small fraction does not really pose any threat to the future of the project.

When and how to see starlink satellites?

Nothing nearly compares to the sight created by a string of Starlink satellites cutting across the sky above the Earth’s surface. Now, how to see starlink satellites? Well, there’s a simple method to find out when you’ll be able to get a glimpse of them.

The SpaceX-operated equipment is intended to give high-speed, satellite-powered internet to people all across the planet in the future. Although it is now semi-functional and available for live testing, the final orbital network. Which has already been authorised by the Federal Communications Commission, will comprise of 12,000 satellites in total.

This raises some concerns about what the sky will look like in the future. Both for pro and amateur stargazers equally, given the current climate. There is also the possibility of an orbital disaster caused by “space trash.” For the time being, though, SpaceX is launching them into orbit in groups of 60. And rows of them are orbiting the earth in patterns that are observable from the ground.

A convenient and straightforward website that records the trajectory of each Starlink constellation has now been created. Courtesy to the efforts of an observational astronomy enthusiast and SpaceX. Find Starlink website makes it possible to visualise this in a variety of ways. There’s a real-time map that displays the route of each group as it moves all around Earth. So that you can get a general idea if one of these would be in your part of the world by looking at it.


You may also choose from a list of important cities all around the globe, or you can enter your precise longitude and latitude parameters for a more particular breakdown of dates and hours in your location. As a result of this, a list of days and times when Starlink will be seen will be provided, as will the direction they’re heading in and height off the sky at which they’ll be visible.

Want to know what starlink satellites look like?

If you see a string of brilliant lights streaking across the night sky, it’s likely that they’re Starlink satellites. An increasing number of individuals across the globe are claiming observations of SpaceX’s Starlink satellite, which have been described as looking like a string of Lightings, speeding through the night sky.

In its disclaimer, the website states that “these times are not 100 percent correct, due to the fact that the trajectory of the satellites varies often and without notice.” Even if you’re gazing in the proper direction and at the appropriate time, other variables might interfere with your ability to see things, according to the disclaimer.

The fact that this monitoring technology is available is yet another cause why amateur astronomers should be aware of it. The Starlink rollout that is now happening is not planned to extend indefinitely, with the service scheduled to become functional sometime during late 2021 or early 2022. Now this means that if you want to see the uncommon phenomena of 60 satellites performing their own orbital line, this is your opportunity.

What are starlink satellites used for?

Once it is completely operational, Starlink will provide internet connection from practically every location in the world, regardless of time zone. Elon Musk’s Starlink initiative seeks to deploy thousands of tiny constellations in low Earth orbit as part of his personal mission. They will be able to broadcast high-speed internet transmissions down to the surface of the planet.
What is Starlink
These SpaceX Starlink satellites would stay in a low orbit above the Earth, about 350 miles above the surface of the planet. Because of the small distance between the two satellites, SpaceX believes that the delay will be anywhere from 25ms to 35ms. That should be sufficient for the majority of internet tasks, including video gaming. Additionally, download rates of around 1Gbps could be expected. SpaceX has not yet confirmed the upload speeds that will be available.

How big is a starlink satellite?

According to Sky & Telescope magazine, the latest iteration for every Starlink satellite weighs about 260 Kg and is about the size of a table.
starlink satellite

How to track starlink satellites?

An increasing number of individuals across the globe are claiming observations of SpaceX’s Starlink satellites. That have been described as looking like a string of Christmas lights speeding through the night sky.

This comes as no surprise, given the rapidity with which SpaceX is sending satellites. They are doing it with its Falcon 9 launch vehicle. This year, the business has launched 16 Falcon 9 rockets, each of which can carry a total of 60 satellites at each launch.
Elon Musk’s space company currently has almost 2000 satellites in orbit and plans to have up to 42,000 satellites in orbit by the middle of 2027.
track starlink satellites
Starlink satellites have lately been observed above the United Kingdom, Ireland, and many locations in the United States. For individuals who are interested in finding Starlink satellites. The website Find Starlink can provide a decent indication of when SpaceX’s satellites will be viewable in their area. It is possible to pick from a large number of cities all over the globe to find out when and where the Starlink satellites are likely to be found.


He built the website in one evening and had half a million queries within the first 4 days of it becoming up. He is still working on it. Also he has gotten communications from people who worked on the Apollo rockets as well as others who have demanded that UFO sightings be ruled out, according to him.

The site will provide timings for areas with excellent, moderate, and poor vision. Based on where you are located once you have entered your location. It indicates the direction to gaze, how much time the satellites would be visible for. And the height at which you should look. Find Starlink website informs users that timings provided are not 100 percent precise. Because there is a possibility that the satellites’ orbits may vary.

He claims that the webpage is correct for up to four to five days after a fresh batch of Starlink spacecraft is launched by SpaceX. He also claims that he gets a large number of emails regarding successful observations on a regular basis.

One week into the launch, it is impossible to forecast in which place the satellites will appear since they will have been allocated to their level orbit. Hence they will be less reflective and hence more difficult to detect from the ground, according to the tracking webpage.

How fast do starlink satellites travel?

Practically all spacecraft have publicly available TLE data, which includes an estimated orbital period. You may verify this data for about all satellites. Consequently, you’ll notice that the intervals are somewhere between 89.73 to 91.53 minutes long on average.

In order to account for disturbances, there are always slight variations between times when a reference point on orbit is crossed. And those are predicated on empirical fact orbits, which have their own limitations in terms of accuracy. You may expect estimations as a whole to be precise to within one second of the observed time.

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