Starlink satellite constellation – possible interference with meteor observations?

Starlink satellite constellation – possible interference with meteor observations?

Since the recent launches of Starlink satellites, Global Meteor Network cameras have recorded a significant uptick in the number of false meteor detections on satellites.

At the end of every night, just before dawn, about half of all 150+ GMN meteor cameras observe a train of parallel satellites. This is how they look like on GMN co-added images:

In this particular case, the camera on the La Palma island, next to the MAGIC telescope at the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory, was recording the outburst of the Alpha Monocerotid meteor shower which can be seen in the background. Here is the video of the outburst (starts at around 2:00) and the satellite passage (around 2:13 in the video):

Fortunately in this case these 60 satellites did not interfere with meteor observations, but one has to be concerned how will our skies look like when hearing that there are plans to launch a total of 42,000 satellites! This might completely deny us to do any optical meteor observations as soon as 2024.

Here is a video that shows several observations of the Starlink constellation with GMN cameras:

And here is how the Starlink constellation looks like from other GMN meteor cameras (click on image for video):

IT0001, Farra Observatory, Italy
HR000D, Ciovo, Croatia
HR0007, Buzet, Croatia
RU000C, Cherkessk, Russia
RU000F, Ka-Dar observatory, N. Arkhyz, Russia

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