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Starlink Satellites Make Striking Appearance Above NW Oregon | Video

Published 05/05/21 at 1:06 AM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Starlink Satellites Make Striking Appearance Above NW Oregon | Video

(Portland, Oregon) – This time nothing landed on the Oregon coast nor exploded in the atmosphere, but today's launch of 60 Starlink satellites resulted in a long, spellbinding streak in the skies above the Portland metro region. OMSI's Jim Todd sent out video of this, taken by Canby resident Emily Rader. (Photos above: stills from video by Emily Rader)

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Click here to see the video

There are no reports of it being seen along the Oregon coast, and according to tracking websites the region wasn't in the string of satellites' flight path.

It happened about 9:30 p.m. Tuesday night, with the satellites at approximately 250 miles above earth, traveling 17,500 mph.

Todd said initially the satellites were seen in a stretched-out line that measured roughly 5 to 8 degrees in length. The 60 satellites were launched in one rocket from Florida earlier Tuesday, then began separating above the atmosphere.

“The satellites are putting on a show for observers as they move across the night sky,” Todd said. “For about 6 minutes each, the 60 satellites appear as a ‘moving train' of moderately faint magnitude points of light between +2 to +4, near the brightness of the stars in Ursa Minor.”

General motion will vary, with the train appearing to move from west to east around 20 to 40 degrees above the horizon.

Once they've gone on to their own orbits, Todd said your best bet for seeing them in from a dark location, far from any bright lights. Oregon Coast Beach Connection captured some of these satellites late in 2020 (below). They will get fainter over the next few nights as they slowly rise to their operational orbits of 342 miles.

Before they disappear, if there are clear skies on the beaches, you'll be able to see them for another night or two on the Oregon coast or Washington coastline, where it's usually quite dark. See heavens-above.com for sighting predictions.

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