A SpaceX fanatic created a website to find out when Starlink satellites were visible in his location. After 5 days, it went viral. You can use it to see where to look and how long for.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk next to a picture of Starlink satellites in the night sky
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk pictured next to Starlink satellites in the night sky.

  • More Starlink satellites can be spotted in the night skies as SpaceX expands the service further.
  • SpaceX fanatics use a website called “Find Starlink” to check when they can see the satellites.
  • The creator of Find Starlink said it got 500,000 requests within its first five days of launching.
If you spot a chain of bright lights in the night sky, chances are they’re Starlink satellites

Starlink Satellite Internet
60 of the Starlink Internet communication satellites of Elon Musk’s SpaceX private spaceflight company seen in the night sky.

More people across the world are reporting sightings of SpaceX’s Starlink satellites, which tend to resemble a chain of fairy lights zooming across the night sky.

This is no surprise considering the rate at which SpaceX are launching satellites into orbit via its Falcon 9 rocket. The company have blasted off 16 Falcon 9 rockets this year with a maximum of 60 satellites per launch.

Elon Musk’s space firm has currently more than 1,500 satellites in orbit and aims to get up to 42,000 up there by mid-2027.

Most recently, Starlink satellites have been spotted over the UK, Ireland, and cities in the US, including ArizonaCalifornia, and Los Angeles.

Find Starlink allows space fanatics to check when they can next see Starlink satellites pass over their location

Screenshot of the Find Starlink page where you can see when Starlink satellites are visible
Screenshot of the Find Starlink page

For those who are interested in spotting Starlink satellites, Find Starlink can give you a good idea of when SpaceX’s spacecraft will be visible in your location.

Users can choose from a multitude of cities across the world to check out when and where to look for Starlink satellites.

The creator of Find Starlink, who prefers to remain anonymous online, told Insider he launched the website two years ago for himself, his brother, and a friend living in different parts of the world.

“Find Starlink was created three days after the first Starlink launch (24 May, 2019) because I wanted to see the Starlink train and none of the existing websites tracked Starlink at that point,” said the creator.

“I saw some unbelievable images of the Starlink train from the first Starlink launch, and wanted to see it with my own eyes,” he added.

The website, which he made in one evening, got half a million requests within its first five days of launching, the creator said.

He has received emails from people who helped build on Apollo rockets and those who have requested ruling out UFO sightings, he said.

 

After selecting a location, a list of dates and times appear advising you where to look to spot Starlink satellites

Screenshot of Find Starlink's website
Screenshot of Find Starlink’s website

Once you have typed in your location, the site will show timings with good, average, and poor visibility around that area. It tells you which direction to look in, how long the satellites will be noticeable for, and the elevation.

Find Starlink warns users that the timings are not 100% accurate as the orbit of the satellites can change.

“I prefer to keep user expectations and hype low, so I’d say ‘try it at your own risk,’ and ‘don’t blame me if you waited outside in the cold and saw nothing,'” the creator said.

The website is accurate four to five days after SpaceX launch a new batch of Starlink satellites, he said, adding that he receives a lot of emails about successful sightings on a daily basis.

One week after the launch, it’s tricky to predict where the satellites will be because they are assigned to their level orbit where they are less reflective and more difficult to see from the ground, the creator said.

This is called “rolling behaviour,” when SpaceX reduce the brightness of the satellites between 300 km to 550 km altitude to not disturb astronomers, he said.

You can also choose specific coordinates to check for Starlink satellites

Screenshot of Find Starlink
Screenshot of coordinates on Find Starlink

If your area isn’t listed, you can type in the longitude and latitude of the location to check when Starlink satellites will zoom overhead.

The live map shows where the Starlink satellites are in real time

Screenshot of Find Starlink's Live Map
Screenshot of Find Starlink’s Live Map

So, how does it work?

After collecting some calculations off the Reddit SpaceX community, the creator said he put a simple program together to predict timings of the Starlink satellites. From this, he made Find Starlink.

The website tracks the “leader” of each Starlink satellite train and predicts its path as all the other satellites will follow behind.

Every minute of the first five days after the launch, the site calculates a triangle between the Sun, the satellite and the location to calculate how good the visibility is going to be in that area, the creator said.

The website then ranks the predicted visibility into “good”, “average” and “poor” based on the calculations. 

 

 

Starlink satellites are becoming less visible as SpaceX has darkened them to avoid disrupting the night sky

Screenshot of a pop-up on Find Starlink's website
Screenshot of a pop-up on Find Starlink’s website.

Astronomers have become increasingly frustrated with Starlink satellites as their bright lights jeopardize astronomical research by obscuring the stars and leaving bright streaks across their images.

In response, SpaceX added darkening sun visors to its Starlink internet satellites, making them almost invisible to the naked eye.

This means it’s harder for Find Starlink to track the satellites.

A few weeks after a SpaceX launch when the satellites are assigned in orbit, a pop-up may show on the website saying that Starlink satellites aren’t visible at the moment as SpaceX has “reduced [the satellites’] brightness to avoid disturbing astronomers.” 

But once SpaceX blasts another batch of satellites into orbit, Find Starlink says they’ll be much easier to spot in the first three to four days.

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SpaceX’s Starlink website can now be read in French as the satellite internet network expands worldwide

Elon Musk
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk.

  • SpaceX has translated the Starlink website into French as more people across the world sign up to the service.
  • Starlink isn’t live in France yet, but over 300 million people speak French around the world.
  • The website also allows customers to pay in euros, instead of dollars.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

SpaceX’s Starlink website now also has a French version, as more people from across the world place orders for its satellite internet service.

The website also gives customers the option to pay in euros, rather than dollars.

Starlink isn’t available yet in France, but given that more than 300 million people across the world speak French and it’s the second most widely spoken native language, it’s no surprise that SpaceX have made it an option on its website to attract more customers.

Screenshot of Starlink website in French
Screenshot of Starlink website in French

If someone in France wants to sign up for Starlink, they put their address in the box and the next page will tell them when they can expect the service to be available in their area. Currently, it says Starlink will arrive in France between mid to late 2021, but subscribers can pay a €99 deposit to secure the service – around $120.

Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, and areas of the US where Starlink isn’t live yet also provide the option of preordering the internet service in exchange for a deposit.

Musk tweeted in February the cost of Starlink is “meant to be the same price in all countries. Only difference should be taxes & shipping.”

Read more: I tried Starlink, Elon Musk’s satellite-internet project, for 3 weeks after moving to rural Vermont. It’s a game changer.

SpaceX said Tuesday it has gained more than 500,000 orders and deposits from customers around the world, indicating the pace at which demand for the space-based internet is growing.

Since Starlink’s “Better Than Nothing Beta” test launched in October, the service has amassed more than 10,000 beta testers globally and has blasted over 1,350 satellites into orbit. The company’s goal is to have up to 42,000 satellites in orbit by mid-2027.

The most recent Starlink launch was on Tuesday when SpaceX sent 60 satellites into orbit via its reusable Falcon 9 rocket.

Read the original article on Business Insider

A quick guide to WordPress, the free-to-use website builder that powers some of the web’s most popular sites

wordpress
WordPress’ easy-to-use format makes it a popular choice for many non-coders.

  • WordPress is a free-to-use content management system (CMS) that can help you build a website with minimal technical knowledge.
  • WordPress has a wealth of features that allow users to make a wide variety of websites for different purposes.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

WordPress is a popular open-source content management system (CMS) that’s free to use. It lets you build your own website without needing to learn programming languages like JavaScript, Python, or C++. 

What to know about WordPress

WordPress logo
WordPress was initially created as a blogging platform.

WordPress can be used to create a wide range of websites, including personal blogs, online portfolios, business pages, and e-commerce websites thanks to a wealth of features.

As an open-source software licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL), WordPress isn’t owned by one company or entity. Rather, hundreds of developers and users work together to constantly improve the software.

WordPress was created as a blogging platform in 2003 by Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little. As a college student, Mullenweg used the b2 (also known as cafelog) blogging system, but the original creator stopped updating it. As a result, Mullenweg created his own version of the system with help from Little. While Mullenweg is the face of WordPress, the software continues to develop thanks to its community of contributors.

Who can use WordPress

While WordPress started out as a blogging tool, these days it can be used to make all sorts of websites for all sorts of purposes, thanks to a plethora of plug-ins and themes. In other words, you can pretty much create any type of website you want with WordPress.

WordPress can be used to create business websites, blogs, online resumes, portfolios, e-commerce stores, membership sites, and more.

Some notable examples of WordPress sites include The New Yorker, Microsoft News Center, and The Walt Disney Company.

Screen_Shot_2021 02 19_at_5_49_52_PM
The New Yorker is one of many popular sites powered WordPress.

The software includes lots of features to help you build a unique site.

What you need to start using WordPress

For self-hosted WordPress sites (through WordPress.org), you need two key things to get started: web hosting and a domain name. 

For web hosting, there are three common approaches: shared WordPress hosting, do-it-yourself VPS WordPress Hosting, and managed WordPress hosting.

A domain name is your website address. Choosing a unique domain name can be tricky, as there are almost 2 billion websites currently in circulation, but there are some general tips that can help you find and purchase the perfect available one.

Related coverage from Tech Reference:

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Website-building company Squarespace confidentially files to go public

Squarespace founder Anthony Casalena speaks at the unveiling of the Knicks' jersey sponsorship with Squarespace at Madison Square Garden on October 10, 2017 in New York City.
Squarespace founder Anthony Casalena.

  • Squarespace announced Wednesday it had confidentially filed for a stock-market listing.
  • It didn’t say whether it would go public through an IPO or a direct listing.
  • The website-building company was last valued at $1.7 billion in December 2017.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

New York-based Squarespace announced Wednesday it had confidentially submitted paperwork for a stock-market listing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The website building and hosting company didn’t specify whether it would go public through a direct listing or an initial public offering (IPO).

Squarespace didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Read more: This actively managed SPAC ETF amassed $60 million assets within a month of launching. Its founder breaks down how to pick blank-check firms – and shares 3 to watch in 2021.

Squarespace was last valued at $1.7 billion in December 2017, when growth-equity firm General Atlantic invested $200 million in the platform, adding to the $40 million it invested in 2014, according to Crunchbase.

Squarespace makes software for people to build and host websites using pre-made templates and other features. It costs $16 per month, or $12 per month if you buy an annual subscription.

The company, which has a total of 1,143 employees, was founded in 2003 by CEO Anthony Casalena in his dorm room at the University of Maryland, according to the website.

It says that millions of websites have been created on the platform.

Read the original article on Business Insider