SpaceX Starlink Satellite Train,
Posted: 4 December 2021
Friday, 3 December 2021, I was featured on the Explore Alliance Focus on Astrophotography live show. I talked about Smartphone Astrophotography. Click the link to view a replay.
Open: Friday, 3 December 2021, 1804 MST
Conditions: Mostly clear
1808 MST: LX600 ON, StarLock OFF, High Precision OFF.
Viewed Venus, Saturn, and then Jupiter, 102X.
Viewed M45 (the Pleiades), 102X.
I prepared the D850 DSLR for later imaging, and then relaxed on the observatory patio bench while waiting for Astronomical Twilight to end.
1835 MST: Took this handheld iPhone 13 Pro Max photo of the southern sky showing the planets and some clouds that were approaching.
Mouseover or tap on image for labels
1839 MST: I began watching the SpaceX Starlink satellite train as the satellites rose in the southwestern sky. These satellites were launched on 2 December 2021. They were much brighter than I expected. I used the iPhone 13 Pro Max to take a handheld video of the train. Here are some stills from that video. The train passed near the stars Vega (3rd image) and then Polaris (4th image).
Here is a 1 minute video as the train approached and passed the star Vega.
Click or tap on image to view video
To view the video at a larger scale, click this image. It is best viewed on a large screen.
Click or tap on image for larger version
As heard in the video, a neighbor's dogs did not like what the SpaceX Starlink satellites were doing to the tranquility of the night sky.
1851 MST: Back inside the observatory. I was now in a race with the clouds as a I prepared to image M45 (the Pleiades). Mounted the D850 DSLR at prime focus + focal reducer + UHC filter, focused on Capella, and locked the 12" mirror.
1900 MST: did this StarLock autoguided, 5 minutes, ISO 12800, White Balance 4550K, image of the Pleiades.
I then began taking another series of images at ISO 1600, but the clouds covered the Pleiades during my second image. I lost the race with the clouds, which were now in most of the sky.
1930 MST: LX600 OFF.
Close: Friday, 3 December 2021, 1938 MST
Session Length: 1h 34m|
Conditions: Mostly cloudy
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