Starlink Satellite Brightness -- Characterized From 100,000 Visible Light Magnitudes

Status Report From: e-Print archive
Posted: Monday, November 22, 2021

Anthony Mallama

Magnitudes for the VisorSat and Original-design types were analyzed separately and by time. Mean values are compared with those from other large-scale photometric studies, and some signficant differences are noted. The illumination phase functions for Starlink satellites indicate strong forward scattering of sunlight. They are also time-dependent on a scale of months and years. These phase functions improve the predictability of satellite magnitudes. A Starlink Brightness Function tailored to the satellite shape also improves magnitude predictions. Brightness flares lasting a few seconds are characterized and the mean rate of magnitude variation during a pass is determined. Observation planning tools, including graphs and statistics of predicted magnitudes, are discussed and illustrated.

Subjects: Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM)

Cite as: arXiv:2111.09735 [astro-ph.IM] (or arXiv:2111.09735v1 [astro-ph.IM] for this version)

Submission history

From: Anthony Mallama 

[v1] Thu, 18 Nov 2021 14:49:27 UTC (1,139 KB)

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