Solar sail LightSail 2 can fly right over you. How to see it?

Founded in 1980, the Planetary society believes that near-earth satellites can dispense with expensive fuel, and to move through the solar particles, pushing a huge sail. To prove this, researchers recently sent into orbit, the LightSail unit 2, and successfully got his signals about the health. Very soon the sail-sized Boxing ring will be deployed, and people will be able to see it from Earth with the naked eye. To monitor the location of the unit to catch the time flying over your region, possible only through the special website.


It’s called “LightSail Mission Control 2”, and displays information about the device: the duration of his stay in orbit, condition of sails, battery, internal temperature and rotation speed. The location of the unit shown in blue diamond. Information is updated each time an artificial satellite communicates with the ground station.

How to see a solar sail LightSail 2?

Unlike its predecessor, launched in 2015, the new LightSail 2 will perform more complex maneuvers and try to climb a different orbit, and all this only with the help of solar energy. After about two weeks since the launch on 24 June, that is, in the coming days, the device will open the sail area of 50 square meters. Then perhaps the satellite will be visible from the Earth — you only need to take time over your region, focusing on the performance of the website. Best of all it will be visible at dusk, or at dawn.


The location of the satellite, LightSail 2

The device can be seen in the last 30 days — all this time, the sail will remain open, and researchers will carefully monitor his movements. If the sail is really able to move the camera, it Steneto an integral part of the small satellites, cube-Sats. At the moment they need theto expensive fuel, which in addition to its high price, has too much mass for such as compact device.