A real-time map of Starlink satellites orbiting Earth

Right now, according to data from satellite tracking site Orbiting Now, there are a total of 9,494 satellites orbiting the planet. Of them, almost 60% are part of the “Starlink constellation”: satellites whose objective is give internet to the entire planet as part of an initiative by SpaceX, Elon Musk's company. Recently, the company has published an interactive global map of its satellites. From each and every one of them.

This interactive map is constantly updated taking into account that every few weeks, new satellites are launched. In 2022, Starlink officially reached all seven continents after Starlink service became available in Antarctica.

Within this interactive map, users can choose to view live satellite coverage or rewind and fast forward (4 or 16 times) their respective orbital speeds. Moving the mouse will identify the code of each satellite and by clicking on them You can view your individual satellite information and orbital path, which will allow the user to see if a particular satellite will pass over your location. Additionally, users can rotate the Earth and zoom in on any part of the planet.

To complement the interactive map, users can find data on the number of satellites launched and currently in orbit: 5,977 satellites have been launched so far. From them, 5,601 are currently in operation and the remaining 376 have been deorbited for a variety of reasons, including not reaching its target orbit or having design flaws. Elon Musk himself recently announced that he will deorbit 100 Starlink satellites that will slowly degrade their orbits over the next five years.

Scrolling down the left menu provides users with information regarding the running gigabytes and terabytes that have been sent to Earth. Starlink's goal is to provide high-speed Internet around the world, and the interactive map notes: “The Starlink constellation could deliver up to 188,180 MB/sec to Earth” and to do so expects to launch up to 12,000 satellites during the first phase, until reaching a total of 42,000 in the future.

Despite these numbers, Starlink has faced a number of backlashes and controversies, including its negative impacts on astronomy, as reports have indicated that the streaks of Starlink satellites caused by long exposures of the cameras obscure optical images of the night sky from ground-based telescopes.

More recently, a 2023 study looked at both deliberate and accidental radio signals emanating from Starlink satellites that could interfere with radio astronomy. Furthermore, there is growing concern that the number of Starlink satellites could cause inevitable collisionswhich would generate a notable increase in space debris.