A Comprehensive Study of Starlink Magnitudes

From: Anthony Mallama via Seesat-l <seesat-l_at_satobs.org>
Date: Mon, 15 Jun 2020 22:25:50 -0400
I have published an analysis of more than 800 Starlink satellite
observations. The mean visual magnitude at a distance of 550 km (the
operational altitude) is 4.63 +/-0.02. The data on DarkSat, the low-albedo
satellite, indicates that it is fainter than the others by 1.6 magnitudes
or 78%. However, there is considerable uncertainty in this value due to the
small number of observations. Some satellites were observed to flare by
10,000 times their normal brightness. These statistics can serve as a
baseline for assessing the reduced brightness of the VisorSat design for
future Starlink satellites.

The observations used in this study were acquired by the MMT-9 automated
observatory and by these visual observers: Alexandre Amorim, Richard Cole,
Russell Eberst, Ted Molczan, Jay Respler, Brad Young and the author. Ted
Molczan collected and pre-processed most of the data. Richard Cole and
David Skillman read and commented on an earlier version of the manuscript.

The paper can be accessed at https://arxiv.org/abs/2006.08422 by clicking
'Download PDF'.

Tony Mallama
Seesat-l mailing list
Received on Mon Jun 15 2020 - 21:26:37 UTC

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