What is Starlink?
SpaceX, led by Elon Musk, is constructing Starlink. They are launching a web of satellites, or constellation, that will provide internet access. This constellation will consist of thousands of mass-produced small satellites in low orbit.
The idea here is to provide low-latency broadband connectivity to underserved areas, typically rural areas, but also provide competitively priced internet in more urbanized areas.
They’re not the only ones who want to do this. OneWeb, Samsung, Amazon, Telesat and others are interested as well.
Who wants to know where Starlink is?
Some people want to spot satellites in the sky as part of their star-gazing or simple curiosity.
Others want to avoid it.
Many astronomers. scientists and night photographers have raised eyebrows, citing issues with so many satellites in low orbit. Among their concerns include light pollution, reflected brightness ruining the night sky, impacting scientific observations. After all, SpaceX hopes to eventually launch a total of 42,000 satellites.
Whatever your reasons may be, the Find Starlink Satellites app can help you determine when and where they may appear easily. Remember that although reasonably accurate, Starlink satellites do have the ability to autonomously change their orbits.
Let’s have a look at how the app works.
Select your nearest location
Much of the app is straightforward. Select your location from the pulldown menu. The app, if you allow it, will automatically suggest the nearest location for you.
Find out when you can see Starlink
Selecting the nearest location will produce a list and description.
Get a reminder just before Starlink is visible
If you wish to see it (or avoid it), you can have it remind you thirty minutes beforehand. Handy!
Track Starlink on a live map
Clicking on Live Map at the bottom of the screen produces a map that shows the flight paths of the Starlink satellites. Zoom in or out as you please.
Usage is straightforward, and everything seems to work right. You can use this app instantly, as there is almost no learning curve. If you still have questions, clicking on the Help Icon gives you an email and answers common questions.
The app is available on iOS and Android. You can also visit their website for similar functionality.