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Look up to see satellites above NC in the night sky

Tony Rice, WRAL contributor/NASA AmbassadorMay 27, 2019

SpaceX launched the first 60 satellites in its Starlink constellation to provide global internet access.

According to papers filed with the Federal Communications Commission, 4,425 satellites are planned.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk told reporters in a pre-launch briefing last week that nearly 12,000 satellites could be a part of the system.

“In a year and a half, maybe two years, if things go well, SpaceX will probably have more satellites in orbit than all other satellites combined,” Musk said. “A majority of the satellites in orbit will be SpaceX.”

Nearly 30 more similar launches are necessary to reach that milestone, however.

You can see these first 60 satellites as they pass over Sunday, May 26, beginning shortly after 10:20 pm.

Look to the southwest for a faint line of dots rising, passing nearly overhead before setting in the northeast about six minutes later.

The line of satellites will spread out over time and be joined by other sets of satellites to provide global coverage.

The flock will be visible again Monday, May 27, beginning at 9:23 p.mm again from the southwest, setting seven minutes later in the northeast.

Not everyone is excited about this new addition to the night sky.

Astronomers are concerned that these satellites will amount to visual clutter in the sky, complicating their research.

And more satellites are planned by competitors.

OneWeb and Amazon plan to launch their own huge constellations of communications satellites.

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