Starlink and the Crescent Nebula

So I’m starting to image in earnest with my Celestron EdgeHD 8 which up to this point has mainly had visual observation duty. Still working out some kinks in the guiding set-up with the OAG (before it was worse with a guide scope). First up was a quick shot of the Crescent Moon that was quickly setting in the east as I started to set-up for the evening.

Crescent Moon Setting in the East

However this evening another event took center stage, another line of Elon Musk’s SpaceX Starlink satellites crossed the sky which can be seen in the video. There are apparently now 420 of them in orbit, an auspicious number to say the least. The final plan is an order of magnitude higher.

Video of StarLink Train of Satellites and how the Sky is Getting Crowded

Of course this brings up the discussion of satellite trails in images and even with the 1 degree field of view of the EdgeHD 8 coupled with the Nikon Z6 there was 5 major satellite strikes on the Crescent Nebula throughout the evening. This results in a lose of subs, and as more satellites go up, especially at the rate of Starlink additional interference will occur.

Now there is a workaround for this, Cappa-sigmas rejection algorithms that reject data outside the precised “normal” of the image. However its a work around and not a perfect solution, and defiently not idea in situations where long exposures are desired (such as faint targets) and multiple streaks are observed in each frame. Fortunately not the case tonight, but it could be soon, and that is concerning… although word has it they are trying to find a work around.

Final Stacked Image with Kappa Sigma Rejection to Avoid Offending Streaks

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