Starlink And Its Impact On Astronomy

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On Monday, January 6th, 2020, another SpaceX Falcon 9 blasted off from Cape Canaveral, carrying another 60 Starlink internet communications satellites, bringing the full size of the constellation to 180. With just three launches, SpaceX becomes the largest satellite operator in the world.

But the company is just getting started. They’re planning to do this again every couple of weeks during 2020, bringing the total number of satellites in the constellation to about 1440, which is enough to provide high-speed internet services to the United States and parts of Canada.

Shortly after launch, as the satellites are raising their altitude, they’re clearly visible to the eye as they streak across the sky in a close train.

Astronomers aren’t happy.

Thumbnail credit: DELVE Survey / CTIO / AURA / NSF

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References:
https://www.businessinsider.com/spacex-starlink-internet-satellites-itc-filing-30000-additional-42000-total-2019-10
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-fccs-approval-of-spacexs-starlink-mega-constellation-may-have-been-unlawful/
https://www.theverge.com/2020/1/14/21043229/spacex-starlink-satellite-mega-constellation-concerns-astronomy-space-traffic
https://spacenews.com/spacex-gets-ok-to-re-space-starlink-orbits/
https://www.businessinsider.com/spacex-starlink-satellite-ufo-terminals-how-network-works-2020-1

35 comments
  1. JUST ANOTHER UNNECESSARY MONEY MAKING SCHEME THAT THE WORLD DUMB GOVERNMENTS HAVE STUPIDLY GREEN LIGHTED WHICH IS GONNA COST THE TAX PAYERS BILLIONS AS ALL ELON MUSKS BUISNNESS LOSE MONEY AND ARE PROPPED UP BY THE TAXPAYERS OF THE WORLD , THE FACT THAT EACH SATELLITE CAN ONLY SERVICE 1000 PEOPLE , AND EACH SATELLITE HAS TO BE REPLACED EVERY 3 YEARS THE MAINTANACE COSTS ARE GONNA BE ASTRONOMICAL , AS WELL AS THEY EXPECT EVERY CUSTOMERS TO ATTACHED A SATTELLITE DISH TO YOUR HOME WHICH USES 100 WATTS PER HOUR !!!!

  2. Starlink doesn’t make sense. Especially when on ground direct wired internet is more reliable and consistent. And it’s not like g Lund based internet is just going to disappear. Satellites can only take so much data and then they get bogged down in data. On earth for a little more money you could double or triple your speeds by adding one more wire. Most internet is carried by wire. And it’s efficient. Space internet should be in a geosynchronous or stationary orbit where they get maximum coverage for MINIMUM SATELLITE. Launching hundreds of satellites has never been economical. And for good reason. GPS isn’t economical it was made for the military. Which still don’t use hundreds of satellites because they work just as fine with a higher orbit. Because light doesn’t degrade that much in space. Also Kessler syndrome. Some starlink satellites have failed. They haven’t deorbited. That’s junk for potentially 5 years waiting to hit random debris. The fact that the FAA still allows something like this knowing damn well that it could inhibit future space flight pisses me off

  3. Starlink is dumb. You don’t need hundreds of satellites to cover North America. You only need 1. One satellite far enough out will forge job. All you need are 3 to cover all of earth outside of the poles

  4. I still find it insane that a USA based company like SpaceX is allowed to put their satellites above Europe while Europe already has fiber connections almost everywhere (1gbps down and up speed). I don't like them flying above my property. Perhaps it's time to install some lasers to highlight the satellite borders.

  5. Would not disagree with astronomers being upset…those things have been up there so long just blocking the stargazing and still do not provide global internet service or any function really

  6. I'm amazed at how easily one person can privatize the sky without any serious backlash.

  7. Live with it. Your photos of stars have been taken a million times. The world will have a communication system like no other. Internet will be provided for millions. So again just get over it.

  8. It would be cool if these billion dollar tech companies where forced to fund a fleet of space telescopes so we can continue studying the cosmos without interference.

  9. Imagine if you just bought a 10.000$ telescope just to see some routers flying around earth.

  10. I think it's a mistake to launch those satellites and ruin the night sky. Surely there is another way, if not, perhaps it would be better to wait for a new technology.

  11. Hi Fraser – Will the Starship and Superheavy booster always use welded rings or are there plans to make a giant fabricator to make it all in one piece to alleviate the need for welding? Thanks.

  12. Sustainability of human civilization depends on discoveries, inventions and adaptability. Human species would have extinct long ago in a corona like pandemic in the absence of enthusiasm to learn and practice to live in a modified environment. Now we are about transform ourselves an interplanetary species before another catastrophy destroys entire civilization. Technology has developed faster than ever. Star gazers need not worry because new doors are being opened for them in the Space, Moon and Mars soon. They can explore Universe more clearly and efficiently than ever before.

  13. What did you expect? From Sputnik this was your fate. Nothing is forever. Maybe get Musk to relocate you to the moon.

    Don't think from my comment that I approve, but what difference will that make?

  14. I am glad that you made this video
    We should make a community against starlink
    Nights skies are more important ?

  15. It would be prudent to protect our skies to a greater latitude than we have our land via national park systems. Space junk is disheartening!

  16. Yes… Also l am against for now to starlink system.. Why? Let me tell please..   because there is no any authorised international auditor 3 rd parties inpection /inpector systems and parties to check their technological actions about of all the world people health.. When international 3 parties Will be authorised to check starlink all satelites also l Will be not against to that starlink system ofcourse.. 3 rd parties audit control system must be established and authorised asap for all the population of the world.. W. H. O is not adequated and not trustable as we see as president od Usa Trump also did not trust to world of health organisation (WHO) about the last covid attacks… Anyway… For now l am against to satelites because no any international 3 rd party auditor and inspection system for starlink…

  17. I prefer satellites being visible, all 42,000 of them . Astronomers should get a telescopes in space .

  18. Like it or not Skynet is coming for the benefit of all. Better work with them than going against it.

  19. Humanity and new exponential technologies do not have to shape and morph around astronomy. Astronomy on other other hand needs to reinvent itself and work around this. I'm sorry, but when we're talking about net benefit to humanity, cheap global access to fast internet beats studying the night sky from earth.

  20. Starlink is brilliant but IMO rural internet on earth is not the star link goal, its just the benefit. Star link is a global communications test for Mars. In order to colonize effectively, Mars will require a better communications network and fiberoptics & cellphone tower build outs ain't gonna cut it. Work the kinks out on earth and deploy 30k satellites to Mars before any1 ever arrives. Post Two additional station relays between earth and Mars….Talk about being ahead of the curve…

  21. Why did they make them so reflective to the sun? I don’t want to look at these after the first grid is installed. Who steals the system first for defense & control? China, USA, Russia or another entity?

  22. How can the FCC, a US institution, approve this pollution of everyone's sky? It's like the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency approving radio active waist dumping into the Atlantic. FCC has no jurisdiction in space i would think.

  23. I'm sorry, but ground based telescopes will NEVER be as good at resolving objects in the universe as space based telescopes will be.

    Once our AI overlords take control of the planet, space based telescopes will be the ONLY method used.

  24. How about having a full spectrum Camara array on every satalite where you can have thousands of Camaras watching space….

  25. Having 12000 satelites for internet in 2020 seems very unadvanced and poor. The Iridium satellites had provided a global satellite telecomunication with just 70 satellites back in 1997.

  26. Most horrible use of satellite’s , the benefits are small compared to the disastrous effect to our astronomical observation’s. No one should have the right to interfere with our scientific community. We spend billions on new large observatories with the best telescope technology, only to have our data made useless. The fcc is pretty much,,,, stupid to approve this. We need to let the world know that they need to de- orbit all of them until the future can provide technology to make them non interfering. I seriously doubt any good will come from this. Especially if they start a 42,000 object collision of mass debris field. Then nothing in orbit will be safe. We need to decrease junk in space not add to it.

  27. So. we put up all this internet stuff. and miss the asteroid that is coming to hit us.

    We don't NEED these satalites, we have cables on the ground that are much much faster, and cheaper, but Elon has his foot in the door on cheap space launches, and he doesn't care about astronomy so….

    I know you want fast internet in the middle of nowhere, but if it comes at the cost of the night sky, is it worth it? no.

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