Starlink flares?

From: C. Bassa via Seesat-l <seesat-l_at_satobs.org>
Date: Mon, 27 May 2019 22:31:54 +0200
Hi all,

Bill Keel showed some pictures where several of the satellites show
flares around the same area on the sky:
https://twitter.com/NGC3314/status/1132836325789503490

The https://www.starlink.com website also shows a picture of the
underside of the satellites:
https://www.starlink.com/images/satellite/satellite__ANTENNA.jpg The 4
same sized square panels must be the phased array antennas, which can
electronically create beams to point to particular locations on Earth.

Similarly, this picture shows the control moment gyros to orient the
space craft: https://www.starlink.com/images/satellite/satellite__COLLISION_AVOIDANCE.jpg
Furthermore, Elon Musk confirms that the solar panel can rotate around
one axis: https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1132906066423889920

Depending on the reflectivity of the underside and the phased array
antennas, these satellites could produce interesting flares. All this
suggests to me that the underside is kept parallel to the Earth, so
that the normal of the phased array antennas points towards the Earth.
This may make it possible to predict when flares from Starlink
satellites occur. It would be helpful to record locations on the sky
where flares are seen, particularly once the satellites reach their
operational orbits.

Regards,
    Cees
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Received on Mon May 27 2019 - 15:32:44 UTC

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