On Friday evening, there will be a brief window of opportunity to see a trail of lights crossing the sky. The WTOL 11 Weather Team forecasts clear skies, allowing people in the region to witness the Starlink satellites, which create an intriguing spectacle. Here’s what you need to know to view this phenomenon.
Starting at 5:56 p.m. and ending at 6 p.m., a string of 23 satellites will pass across the horizon from west to east. During this four-minute period, the lights will traverse the sky before disappearing in the east.
The satellites visible on Friday were launched on November 7 at 11:01 p.m. from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. Deployed by SpaceX, there are over 4,000 satellites of this kind orbiting Earth, providing satellite internet access to 54 countries. They are visible shortly after launch because they reflect the sunlight, giving them the appearance of stars. Once their solar shields are deployed, they become difficult to see with the naked eye.
If you manage to capture a picture of the satellites, you can send them to WTOL 11 by using the “Near Me” feature in the WTOL 11 mobile news app. Click on the orange “Share with Us” button on the map to upload your photo.
While the Starlink satellites have garnered controversy among astronomers due to their impact on light pollution and telescope observation, proponents highlight the global connectivity they provide.
With a clear sky and a short timeframe, take advantage of this opportunity to witness the Starlink satellites and enjoy the trail of lights overhead.