Starlink flares above Utah desert

Astronomy and Society

Starlink Flares Can Fool Anyone — Even Airline Pilots

Starlink satellites can flare as brightly as Venus, confusing ground observers and airline pilots alike.

BlueWalker 3 satellite panel dwarfs team that built it

Astronomy and Society

The Bright BlueWalker 3 Satellite Threatens Astronomy

The bright BlueWalker 3 satellite, a prototype for the even larger Bluebird satellites, is one of the brightest objects in the sky.

Astronomy and Society

The Newest and Largest Starlink Satellites Are Also the Faintest

Despite being four times larger than the original Starlink satellites, the new "Mini" version is fainter — as dim as astronomers have recommended such satellites be.

BlueWalker 3 satellite panel dwarfs team that built it

Astronomy and Society

BlueWalker 3 Satellite Unfolds, Brightening 40-fold

The unfolding of the BlueWalker 3's giant flat-panel antenna array resulted in a satellite 40 times as bright, outshining most stars.

BlueWalker 3 satellite panel dwarfs team that built it

Save Dark Skies

Bright New Satellites Join a Crowded Sky — Here’s How You Can Help

The imminent launch of a BlueWalker satellite, with a giant phased array antenna, portends a brightening night sky. Amateur astronomers can help record these changes with the goal of mitigating them.

An arm to the sun

Space Missions

Newest Starlink Satellites Have Gotten Brighter Again

Changes to the design of Starlink satellite spacecraft have made them brighter again, though still dimmer than the original design.


Astronomy and Society

Starlink Satellites Are Fainter Now — But Still Visible

Measurements of Starlink's "VisorSat" show SpaceX has succeeded in making a less reflective satellite. But it's still visible from dark-sky areas.

Venus-Jupiter conjunction

Celestial Objects to Observe

How Bright Are the Planets?

What do Venus and Jupiter have in common? Revisions to planets' magnitudes in this year's Astronomical Almanac have revealed some surprises.