Sat. Dec 2nd, 2023
SpaceX Satellite Alignment Visible Near Montpellier

The alignment of SpaceX satellites was seen near Montpellier on the evening of November 10th. These satellites are designed to provide high-speed internet worldwide.

Starlink, launched by SpaceX (Space Exploration Technologies Corporation), is an American company specializing in astronautics and spaceflight. Founded by Elon Musk on May 6, 2002, it is one of the two private providers entrusted by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) with a contract for freight transport to the International Space Station (ISS).

Starlink’s goal is to provide high-speed internet connectivity worldwide. However, in addition to its technological promise, Starlink also sparks the interest of astronomy enthusiasts due to the unique spectacle it presents in the night sky.

Known as Starlink passes, these are moments when the satellites move across the sky and are visible to the naked eye.

“Starlink passes occur when the satellites, which orbit at approximately 550 kilometers above the Earth’s surface, reflect sunlight to the ground. This reflection makes the satellites appear as a series of moving bright points in the sky,” explains the Artificial Intelligence website relayed by TS 2 Space. The visibility of these passes is influenced by various factors, including the time of day, the observer’s position, and the satellite’s position in its orbit.

Denis Clerc, a journalist at France 3 Occitanie, observed the alignment during his nighttime run around 7:30 PM. “I saw it from the side of Castries, northeast of Montpellier. It lasted a few minutes before disappearing,” adds the journalist, who photographed this modern constellation.