One of the Brightest Stars in the Sky is Actually a Satellite

The bright streaks drawing an arc across the night sky are caused by the satellite BlueWalker 3. The prototype satellite is brighter than most stars. Image Credit: Ilse Plauchu-Frayn

Back in the 70s, kids used to look up at the summer sky and try to be the first one to shout, “Satellite!” That seems like a relic from the past now, alongside Polaroid cameras and astronauts on the Moon. These days, it’s rare to spend any amount of time looking at the sky without seeing a satellite, or several of them.

A new satellite is emphasizing that fact. It’s a prototype communications satellite with a roughly 700-square-foot antenna, and it’s brighter than most stars.

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BlueWalker-3 Satellite Launches This Weekend, May Be Bright

AST SpaceMobile
An artist's conception of BlueWalker-3 in space. Credit: AST SpaceMobile

A new satellite launching this weekend BlueWalker-3 could be conspicuously bright once it’s unfurled in orbit.

A routine SpaceX Starlink launch this coming weekend carries an unusual passenger, that you many be able to easily see gliding through the increasingly crowded night sky.

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