SAT DETECTIVES

An increasingly large number of low earth satellites have been launched recently, with SpaceX alone having launched more than 2500 Starlink satellites (as of May 2022). What impact do those satellites have on your view of the night sky? Have you ever seen a satellite? Do you think you might see more in the next year or two?

Sat Detectives asks you to share what you’ve seen on this form. We’d like to gather data from all parts of Ireland, from dark sky locations to the centre of cities and find out what you are seeing! No telescopes needed, just a few minutes to look up and tell us if you’ve seen a satellite (or three!)

Reporting Form Structure (7 questions total). Report Form

Did you see any satellites?
Please describe what you saw: (number of satellites, direction of travel, time of night, etc.)
How long were you observing the sky?
On which date were you observing the sky?
What were the sky conditions? (clear skies? partial cloud?…)
How light polluted was the sky? (optional question)
From which county were you observing the sky?

These early measurements will help us develop a mobile phone app for reporting and give us a baseline of data. In the autumn we will be sharing our summer data.

If you’d like to share your thoughts on this project, or find out more, please contact frances.mccarthy@bco.ie

We’ve made a short guide to finding the International Space Station, one of the brightest satellites. If you do spot the ISS, keep looking for a bit longer and tell us if you see any other satellites too.

Sat Detectives is funded with the financial support of Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), ESERO Ireland and the Department of Education under the SFI Discover Programme.