Reply To: Starlink satellites brightness reduction

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Jeremy Shears
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A paper on Visual Brightness Characteristics of Starlink Generation 1 Satellites based on visual mags measured for the satellites is available here: https://arxiv.org/abs/2210.17268

They show that adding the sunshades to the VisorSats can reduce brightness, this is phase angle dependent. The upshot is that VisorSats tend to be fainter than original satellites when near zenith and brighter when they are low in the sky and their azimuth is toward or away from the Sun. More recently, however, the satellites have not had these shades. The phase function for these Post-VisorSat spacecraft is intermediate between those of original and VisorSat.

The authors point out that in coming years Generation 2 satellites will be launched which are expected to be larger and possibly brighter.