I "missed the train" on the Starlink satellites last year, and now it looks like they've separated, and the conservative voices convinced Space X to darken new ones with visors or paint.

Is it still possible to see 2 or more satellites moving in the same direction with the naked eye? (Actually, any celestial bodies visibly moving in the same direction will do.)

I'm located in California and I tried Find Starlink and the Heavens Above app but wasn't able to see anything.

  • $\begingroup$ You should use the heavens-above.com website and the "Starlink - dynamic 3D orbit display". You can see which launches still have satellites in close proximity. Also, "darken" is a relative term. I believe the satellites will still be visible to the naked eye, especially after launch when they are close to each other and at a lower altitude. Since there are many more launches to go, you will have more opportunities in the near future. $\endgroup$
    – JohnHoltz
    Jul 20, 2020 at 23:23
  • $\begingroup$ @JohnHoltz: that visualization is dope! I'm unclear how "far" in space one can see the sats, give the Earth's curvature and their 550km altitude. If I rotate that globe just right, it seems that "dandv" observer could see some part of the train... 5 to 10 sats? $\endgroup$ Jul 21, 2020 at 1:29
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ These are different but related questions in Space Exploration SE: Are there any related groups of satellites that are in a line of 6 or more in a row? and Have astronauts seen Starlink trains? $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Jul 21, 2020 at 2:10

1 Answer 1


I can personally attest that the Starlink satellites are visible with the naked eye even after they have spread out, however they are quite dim - with apparent magnitudes near 5.5. Here is a brightness comparison drawn from a widefield capture where two Starlink satellites are can be seen (albeit barely) juxtaposed with another satellite with apparent magnitude near 3.

enter image description here

The region in which this was taken is Class 1 on the Bortle Scale and the entire 60-satellite train was visible, though only 4-5 were visible at any given time. In brighter regions the satellites would not be as readily visible. Furthermore, since they have such low orbits, they were only visible for ~105 degrees in the sky before they passed into Earth's shadow.


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