Starlink Constellation Animation (July 2020)

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This animation shows the build-out of the Starlink (v1.0) constellation, starting on 2019/11/17 up to 2020/07/30.

The y-axis shows the anomaly past the ascending node (i.e. the position of the satellites in their plane), while the x-axis shows the longitude of the ascending node (i.e. the position of the planes). The data is plotted in the frame of reference of a satellite in operational orbit in order to correct for nodal precession.

Satellites marked „non-operational“ include non-communicating, non-maneuvering and oddly behaving satellites, i.e. not all of them are uncontrollable. Please note that this classification is done manually and can therefore contain misclassifications, which are potentially subject to change. This is not official information by SpaceX.

The TLE-data was obtained from www.space-track.org and processed in Python. For each time step, the most recent TLE-file of each individual satellite was used. For the time in between (usually 8 hours) the orbits were propagated and smoothed out.

For more information you can check out the following links:

– Discussion on Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/gmanfu/starlink_constellation_buildout_animation/fr2hail/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=ios_app&utm_name=iossmf
– Marcus House explaining: https://youtu.be/VyMGhUWkm5w?t=362
– Explanation article on Inverse: https://www.inverse.com/innovation/spacex-starlink-visualization

13 comments
  1. Love seeing these updated videos. Curious why you flipped the axes? More intuitive since LAN is something lateral to an observer from earth?

  2. Man, I hope the weather clears up and they can launch a couple more off. It'll be really exciting to see the graph really fill out! Amazing work as always; I really love seeing these!

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