Starlink SpaceX
Credit SpaceX

During the Coronavirus lockdown. Many of the UK public have been looking up each evening to see meteors and trains of SpaceX Starlink satellites fly over their homes. Some of these trains were quite bright and easy to see and in some other cases less so.

This evening, Wednesday 22nd April 2020 we are in for a treat. We can watch and actual SpaceX rocket launch Starlink satellites live from Cape Canaveral, Florida. Around 10 to 15 minutes later, the very same rocket and its payload of 60 Starlink satellites should be quite visible as it passes over the UK after launch.

Expect to see at least two bright objects very close together. Similar to what the Space Station looks like when it passes over, but slightly less bright. It may be possible to see some of the 60 satellites start to deploy as the group of objects pass over. A complete train of satellites looking like a string of pearls across the sky will probably occur later in the evening or tomorrow. More info on how to see this tight train of new Starlink satellites will be posted on social media, when there is more accurate timing information.

What Time?

The Starlink launch is expected at 20:30 BST. This may change so stay up to date on launch timings with @VirtualAstro on twitter and Facebook.

The final stage of the rocket and its cargo of satellites should be visible approximately 10 – 15 minutes after launch. So, start looking at 20:40 if the launch goes to plan.

How to Watch The Starlink Launch and Pass

You can watch the launch live below.

Go outside and look west at 20:40- 20:45. You should be able to spot the objects as they rise up in the west and pass almost directly overhead in an easterly direction. You may need to be patient as there is a broad viewing window. Remember to adhere to government guidelines and maintain social distancing. Good Luck.

Predicted Starlink Ground Track – Credit: @Astroguyz

Read more about Starlink here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SpaceX_Starlink

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