Star Party: E.T. and a Satellite Train!

Star Party: E.T. and a Satellite Train!

While the stars may not have been aligned for the Phillies in game 6 of the playoffs, the turnout for this year’s Star Party got a big win. It was a perfect night for the (somewhat) annual event which draws students to the school’s softball field to have access to some of the strongest telescopes outside a planetarium or astronomy lab.

Powered by Astronomy to Go and hosted by the SCH Science Department, this year’s “Star Party” attendants enjoyed perfect weather and a "tour" of all the major constellations of the late October sky, including amazing close-up views of the Moon, Saturn and its rings, and Jupiter and its moons. They were also treated with a view of a ring nebula and a small star cluster in the shape of the letters "E.T.!" 

But, ask Middle School teacher Erik Dreisbach what excited him most. He’ll tell you: “We even got to see a Starlink launch “train.” (Starlink is a satellite internet constellation operated by the aerospace company SpaceX, providing coverage to over 60 countries.) He explains, “One of the most unique and amazing things we were able to witness was the train in the sky shortly after Starlink launched a batch of their communication satellites. When this happens, a line of 25-30 recently launched satellites can be seen quickly moving across the night sky, appearing as a loosely strung line of “stars.” In time, those satellites spread out so it was really special to see such a "train" before it broke up, like we did last night.”  

The above photo is of this celestial phenomenon.

Explore Other News