I saw a Starlink satellite train!

Last night after sundown I happened to be outside looking up at the waxing gibbous moon when I saw a satellite zipping near it in low earth orbit. And not far behind it another. And another – all spaced roughly 15 seconds (travel time, north to south) apart on the same orbit. They kept coming in what appeared to be an unbroken chain, and I could clearly see six to seven of them at a time. That’s an astonishingly dense satellite network, so it made me wonder if it was part of the astonishingly large LEO satellite network being built by Starlink.

Today I tried to confirm what satellites I could have been seeing, and it looks like there was indeed a Starlink train passing overhead at that time. The reason they were so close together is that Starlink satellites are launched 60 at a time in “trains” that gradually spread to the network’s operational altitude and separation. I must have spotted this one near the beginning of its transit of my location.

So that was very exciting, but I didn’t have equipment adequate to record it. Instead, here is a photo of a full moon I captured with a Nikon 7200 DX and 300mm lens last November:

Full moon photo by David Bookstaber

Thanks for the COVID-19 reassurance

I’d like to thank every organization with which I have ever had contact for emailing me in recent days with your Updates and Important Messages about the COVID-19 pandemic. I am glad that you made time to reach out to me while you are busy “closely monitoring developments with respect to COVID-19.

I am inspired by the businesses that have “implemented plans to ensure that we can continue to serve our customers.” To list just a few:

  • A hotel I stayed at last year.
  • The mail-order company I ordered a pipe fitting from 3 years ago.
  • The law firm that I consulted while creating an LLC five years ago, but haven’t contacted since.
  • The company that represents said LLC in Delaware, whose only job is to forward me a tax bill once a year.
  • The self-storage facility I haven’t visited in six months.

Stores. Restaurants. Clubs, forums, online newsletters. Really, every organization – regardless of whether I have ever had any contact with you or even know what you do.

I can’t tell you how reassuring it is to read, over and over, that:

Our focus is always on the safety and well-being of our customers, employees, and suppliers. We will continue to share guidance and information as it becomes pertinent.

For those that have modified their functions, let me say that I could care less whether some of your employees are working from home. I am invariably rapt reading about the sanitation protocols you have implemented. Surely I am sleeping more soundly knowing how the college I attended twenty years ago has modified its services to current students; or knowing how a medical practice I haven’t visited in three years is handling scheduling of current patients.