msn news powered by Microsoft News
web searchSkip To Navigation Skip To Content Skip To Footer
Astronomers want SpaceX’s Starlink and other satellite constellations regulated
Eric Mack 6/4/2019
Iran fires new nuclear deal ultimatum
British analyst rips Morgan for ‘distasteful’ celebration
a close up of a black background: This image of a distant galaxy group from Arizona’s Lowell Observatory is marred by diagonal lines from the trails of Starlink satellites shortly after their launch in May.
This image of a distant galaxy group from Arizona’s Lowell Observatory is marred by diagonal lines from the trails of Starlink satellites shortly after their launch in May.
The world’s largest organization of professional astronomers is sounding the galactic alarm over Elon Musk’s plan to send a swarm of SpaceX satellites into low-Earth orbit.
Almost immediately after the first batch of the company’s Starlink broadband internet satellites were released by a Falcon 9 rocket last month, stargazers were dismayed by just how bright and noticeable the train of orbiting routers is in the night sky. Now the concern has moved from chatter on social media to a more formal call for new government regulation from the International Astronomical Union.
a close up of a black background: ann19035a
© Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. ann19035a
In a statement Monday, the IAU said large satellite constellations like Starlink could have unforeseen consequences for advancing our understanding of the universe and the protection of nocturnal wildlife.
“We do not yet understand the impact of thousands of these visible satellites scattered across the night sky and despite their good intentions, these satellite constellations may threaten both,” the statement reads.
The IAU shared the above image, which shows bars of light from Starlink satellite trails in the field of view captured by Arizona’s Lowell Observatory. The trails obscure the view of galaxy group NGC 5353/4.
“Although this image serves as an illustration of the impact of reflections from satellite constellations, please note that the density of these satellites is significantly higher in the days after launch (as seen here) and also that the satellites will diminish in brightness as they reach their final orbital altitude,” the organization explained.
The IAU, which represents over 13,000 astronomers, called for satellite constellation operators and astronomers to work together more closely and urged “appropriate agencies to devise a regulatory framework to mitigate or eliminate the detrimental impacts on scientific exploration as soon as practical.”
SpaceX didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment, but last week the US National Radio Astronomy Observatory said it’s been working directly with SpaceX to minimize Starlink’s impacts on radio observations from deep space.
“To date, SpaceX has demonstrated their respect for our concerns and their support for astronomy,” NRAO director Tony Beasley wrote on May 31.
Every Elon Musk project right now
1/23 SLIDES © Provided by CBS Interactive Inc.
You probably know Elon Musk as the guy who makes Tesla electric cars or maybe as the billionaire who dreams of launching a Mars colony. But his projects don’t end there. Hate traffic gridlock? Do you fear that Skynet will turn us all into human batteries? Fret not. Musk wants to tackle alllllll of it.
YOU MAY LIKE
Robert Herjavec is hunting for everyday Americans who want to become millionaires
Robert Herjavec is hunting for everyday…
The Startup Investor
[Gallery] The Real Reason You Don’t Hear About Susan Boyle Anymore
[Gallery] The Real Reason You Don’t…
Shut The Front Door! It’s Amazing These Trucks Are Under 30K!
Shut The Front Door! It’s Amazing These…