SpaceX’s Starlink satellites could be a pain for astronomers

Image Dr. Marco Langbroek  sattrack cam leiden blog

Image Dr. Marco Langbroek sattrack cam leiden blog

The plan calls for each Starlink satellite to de-orbit after its service life with its own propulsion system.

"With that comes the realisation that if several thousands of these are launched it will change what the night sky looks like". "Starlink ... would ruin the sky for everyone on the planet".

A blog post from Langbroek details the amateur astronomer's excitement as the satellites enter his camera's field of view.

However, Elon Musk says SpaceX is aware of the situation and the anger being portrayed by astronomers, but his company is looking at ways to reduce the light pollution.

The Starlink Mission says, "SpaceX's Starlink is a next-generation satellite network capable of connecting the globe, especially reaching those who are not yet connected, with reliable and affordable broadband internet services". "At those latitudes the satellites will be invisible for only 4 hours in typical a summer's night".

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SpaceX launched a batch of satellites. Last week's launch sent 60 of the satellites skyward, and a new video shows all of the tiny objects in a "train" formation moving across the sky roughly a day after they were first deployed.

An amateur astronomer caught dozens of miniature satellites from SpaceX's Starlink project as they traverse their new orbit around Earth. On Sunday, Musk addressed that concern, tweeting that SpaceX would "make sure Starlink has no material effect on discoveries in astronomy".

In response to the claim that his satellites are too bright, Musk has asked his scientists to finds ways to diminish the reflectivity Earthways.

The Indian Express explains that the Starlink network will use a total 12,000 low-orbit satellites that move in three different orbital shells about 500 to 1,300 kilometres above the Earth.

Astronomers continue to hope for some kind of regulation to limit the numbers of these satellites and rules to take care of the ocean of space debris still posing threats in orbit. He noted the constellation would not affect observations at all, and also added how "potentially helping billions of economically disadvantaged people is the greater good". This again could increase the chances of a Kessler-type of syndrome. However, as they are actively maneuvering, they will be more spread out with each pass, so they won't keep this formation for much longer.

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