SpaceX Starlink “Extreme Flaring” Increases Reported UAP Sightings and Poses Aviation Risks, New Research Finds | Space

New research reveals that under certain conditions, SpaceX’s Starlink satellites can produce “extreme flaring,” making them appear exceedingly bright and creating unnecessary aviation risk and confusion for observers on the ground. 

These findings, detailed in a preprint paper published on arXiv, suggest that the dazzling reflections produced by Starlinks can confuse airline pilots, leading to increased reports of unidentified aerial phenomena (UAPs).

“This study demonstrated that Starlinks can be exceedingly bright under certain conditions,” Anthony Mallama, a researcher at the IAU Centre for the Protection of Dark and Quiet Skies from Satellite Constellation Interference and one of the authors of the study, to Universe Today. “In one instance, they were reported as Unidentified Aerial Phenomena by pilots on two commercial aircraft.” 

First launched in 2019, Starlink is a part of SpaceX’s ambitious project to provide global high-speed internet coverage, mainly targeting remote and underserved areas. 

The current V2 Starlink satellites consist of 22-foot-long flat panels equipped with multiple high-throughput antennas and a single solar panel for power. While in orbit, the satellites communicate with each other and designated ground stations, forming a massive satellite constellation.

As of April 2024, over 5,800 Starlink…


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