In the video below Passage of 7 Starlink satellites including (supposed) "darksat" world renowned astrophotographer Thierry Legault is not impressed by DarkSat's darkness:

SpaceX said they have coated one of the satellites (the "darksat") to make it less reflective...if ti's really the #1130 (alias Starlink U), it's not really convincing!

Thierry Legault - https://www.astrophoto.fr

Question: Have any photometric measurements of DarkSat's darkness been reported? These few-pixel images appear to be saturated so I don't think we can compare the brightness of these unresolved dots in the video.

Screen shot near the end where the objects are artificially grouped for a side-by-side comparison

screenshot from Thierry Legault's Passage of 7 Starlink satellites including (supposed) "darksat"


1 Answer 1


I was able to measure STARLINK 1130 (darksat, left) on March 19th, 2020, at Sternwarte Mirasteilas. Comparison object is STARLINK 1084 (same operational height, similar altitude above the horizon, same camera gain and exposure, right).



1 44932U 20001U   20078.91667824  .00171859  00000-0  12055-1 0  9990
2 44932  53.0013  60.9379 0001567  75.4931 267.6192 15.03912909 12250



1 44915U 20001B   20078.91667824  .00153209  00000-0  10776-1 0  9998
2 44915  53.0000  60.9393 0001469  76.4760 248.6505 15.03918487 11023

It seems to be dimmer. I'll measure that out in more detail.

Best regards


enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ This is great, thanks for your answer and for sharing your results! It's great when someone takes the time to share some real, hard data. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Mar 19, 2020 at 15:13
  • $\begingroup$ There was some confusion and mis-identification of StarLink-1130 (DarkSat) as described in comments here. Could you mention some internationally recognized ID for the satellite you observed, perhaps from the TLE you used to predict the orbit? Thanks! $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Mar 19, 2020 at 15:14
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I edited the answer and added the two TLEs that I used. Best regards $\endgroup$
    – rbumm
    Mar 20, 2020 at 16:13

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