‘We’ve seen these before, but not quite like we’ve seen tonight’
But what people in northeastern Ohio saw in the night sky was the latest batch of SpaceX satellites flying over the region.
Jay Reynolds, a research astronomer at Cleveland State University, told his 3News about the satellite.
“We’ve had passes from a group of satellites called Starlink,” Reynolds said. “We’ve seen these before, but not as much as we did tonight. We were able to see them pretty well. I may see her again, but it’s hard to say. “
The skies have been clear the last few nights, so everything came together perfectly. The position of the sky and the clear sky made for an impressive scenery.
Reynolds was also asked about the spate of balloons and unidentified objects shot down in North America during his past week.
“I’m a little surprised they (the government) weren’t proactive about this. This isn’t the first time a balloon has made a robbery flight. We can only disclose some of this information. God only knows how many planes have flown in the past.”
Many in West Central Ohio were surprised when they saw a string of blinking lights across the sky on Sunday.
Your Hometown Stations received multiple calls on the spotted lights — and viewers have sent some pictures that they captured of the strange viewing. Reports came from Delphos, Columbus Grove, and Ottawa.
Your Hometown Stations has learned that the light is actually the Starlink Satellite by SpaceX. The satellite works to spread internet access across the area.
How to See SpaceX’s Starlink Satellite ‘Train’ in the Night Sky
On Thursday evening (May 23), SpaceX launched 60 Star link satellites into orbit on a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The satellites are in good health and are the first of a planned 12,000-satellite mega constellation to provide internet access to people on Earth.
The satellites, which are now orbiting at approximately 273 miles (440 km) above the Earth, are putting on a spectacular show for ground observers as they move across the night sky.
Initially, the satellites were seen to be stretched out in a straight line measuring roughly 5 to 8 degrees in apparent length. Your clenched fist held at arm’s length is roughly equivalent to 10 degrees, so the satellite train currently measures roughly just less than a fist in length as it moves across the sky.
With time, however, as the satellites revolve around Earth at 90 minute intervals, they should appear less “bunched” together and may actually get a bit fainter as they are slowly raised to their operational orbits of 342 miles (550 km).
Where to look!
If you would like to try and see the Starlink satellites for yourself, you are going to need to consult an online satellite pass calculator that will provide a custom viewing schedule for your hometown. One such website is CalSky here.
In the box asking you to find a satellite by name or number, simply type in Starlink and hit the “go!” button.
Another site you can use is N2YO.com, which has already emblazoned the top of its page with the link “Watch Starlink satellites crossing your sky!“
For those in the Greater New York City area, for instance, the best time to look for the Starlink train passing by on Sunday night (May 26) is predicted by both sites to be in the range from 10:09 to 10:20 p.m. EDT, going from southwest to northeast.
There are other predicted passes on Monday (May 27) at around 4:46 a.m. (NW to SE), 9:35 p.m. (SW to NE) and a nearly overhead pass on Tuesday at 4:07 a.m. EDT.
Considering the fact that the satellites are all generally faint, it is best to try and position yourself in as dark a location as possible, far from any bright lights that otherwise could hinder your view. Scanning the sky with binoculars will certainly help. A lot depends on just how the angle of reflected sunlight strike the satellites in the hours just after sunset or before sunrise.