Monday , September 21 2020

SpaceX's Starlink satellites mingle with starbursts. Astronomers Say "It's Not Cool!"



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Clara Martinez-Vazquez, an astronomer at the Inter-American Observatory of Ferro Tololo in Kokimbo, Chile, tweeted that the bright lights reflected by the satellites were mixed into a high-powered camera used to probe other galaxies.

“Wow !! I'm in shock !! An enormous amount of Starlink satellites crossed our skies tonight [the observatory]"she said." Our exposure to DEKam was strongly affected by 19 of them! The Starling Link Satellite Train lasted over 5 minutes !! Instead of depressing … This is not cool! “

SpaceX Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk began developing the project in 2015 to strengthen the internet connection on the ground. Hopefully more satellites will expand the range and range.

But astronomers fear that the more crowded the low orbit of the Earth becomes, the more light will interfere with the injections of their telescopes.

Satellites on Earth

Satellites can be visible from Earth, considering they are usually weak. But when their panels reflect sunlight back to Earth, they may appear brighter in the short term, according to National Geographic.
Those streaks of bright light could disrupt astronomical objects just below them and could cause false signals in telescopes, Nature reported.
In March, the Alliance of Concerned Scientists announced that there are currently more than 2,000 satellites in orbit, though Starling's satellites were not included in the count.

The most visible, such as the International Space Station, are in low Earth orbit and are more easily observed in summer when the sun shines longer – so satellites have more time to reflect.

And many, many more satellites could join those already in orbit. SpaceX is authorized by regulators to launch more than 10,000 satellites, and has recently requested the addition of 30,000 more.

In response to the initial unrest in May, Musk claims that Starling satellites will not affect astronomical observations.

"There are already 4,900 satellites in orbit, which people see 0% of the time," he said tweeted. "Nobody will see Starlink unless you look very closely and it will have a 0% ~ impact on the progress in astronomy."

Reached by CNN on Wednesday, a SpaceX spokesman responded that he was talking to leading astronomy groups to find ways that satellites would not disrupt their work. On a more tactical level, it also makes the basic color of the Saturnlink satellites black, which he hopes will help. If needed, SpaceX says it can adjust some of the orbits of the satellites.

In other words: they listen.

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