Will Starlink & Other Satellite Networks Ruin The Night Sky For Astronomers?

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There’s a lot of concern right now about the future of Earth based astronomy with the prospect of thousands more satellites getting in the way of ground based telescopes.
What’s the balance between science & culture vs worldwide network accessiblility?

Trevor Mahlman’s Starlink video

Here’s Trevor’s guide on how to find the Starlink train while it’s still close together.
https://www.tmahlmann.com/2019/05/how-to-watch-or-photograph-starlink/ .

49 comments
  1. Here's an idea how to get those satellites out of the long exposures time the exposure every time a satellite goes by shut the lens then as soon as it passes reopen it set this to be computerized no problem

  2. Ironic how the guy that can/will launch a defense against an incoming ELE is the same guy who is making it much more difficult to early detect said event.

  3. Here we go…humanity stranded on earth by it's own hand to provide a trivial upgrade to an already extravagant lifestyle

  4. Companies should not allowed to launch these satellites without a tested method of salvage. All satellites and boosters should be recovered as a part of their business plan.

  5. Are you people insane? 50000 of these obscene things polluting the night sky? Astronomy is not the only concern. People from around the world will rise up and destroy you and your rocketships. A price will be put on your head by native people around the world. They will not allow you to dump your garbage in gods heaven. Better reconsider. Having billions of dollars will not protect you from paying dearly for this stupidity. This is the spark that will touch off WW3!

  6. If you've never had the experience, please head to a dark site on a clear, moonless night. My wife and I were traveling in the Arizona desert and pulled into a rest area. The Milky Way looked like a cloud, it was so dense with stars. There were mountains on the horizons, but you couldn't see them. You just clearly saw where their pinnacle ridges were due to the distinct and abrupt edge of the star fields. The sky was so full of stars, it was difficult for me to find even the most common of constellations. It was memorable.

  7. I don't understand how someone as smart as you can fall for the spacex propaganda regarding this constellation being used by rural folks who don't have access to an internet connection. News flash: they're not launching this to service poor farmers in ethiopia. This network will be used for things like datacenters and bitcoin mining operations. The rural farmer that keeps getting talked about? He won't have access to this network at all.

  8. I saw some timelapse night sky video — ugh, total garbage what SpaceX is doing. For what? For some rural guy to stream p0rn without buffering ? I hate Starlink with a passion

  9. What happen to the Apollo craft on top of your Saturn 5 rocket??? On space telescopes, they should be put at the Lagrange points around the earth, I fact there is one supposed to go there in a few years. The only issue I see is the RF speed of light delay that may cause issues… science needs to figure out the FTL radio soon!!!

  10. imagine if in those months,starlink satellites ,before they start to work,are arranging themselves to perform the biggest add in history.
    a big constellation reading STARLINK up in the sky by sun reflection.
    or better yet,"Get your 20% off in your tesla order now"with 12k pixels you can do interesting things on the sky.

    imagine a "SCREW YOU NEW GLENN" sign going all around the globe up in the sky.

  11. Night sky's been ruined for ages. Besides, we've already run up against most of the limits for ground-based telescopes and really just need to put more in space if we want real discoveries. Get JWST up into space already!!!

  12. More elitist, the averave person want and needs the communication. Let Elon get his system up and astronomers can stay on the moon using thousand meter telescope's.

  13. If people would take 10min at night and sit and look up they would be blown away about how much is up there now let alone 30,000 more satellites.

  14. Rejection algorithms deal with this during stacking, like no problem. LED lighting however is impossible to filter out because light is emitted through out the visible spectrum. As with RF-transmissions, lighting should also have regulations in place to protect Ha, OIII and SII imo.

  15. okay. May I suggest that we make a UN for the local space. And it should give licenses to launch because the atmosphere and the orbits belong to the whole world and not just the F….USA, China and Russia. Optical pollution is one thing but the humongus amounts of co2 produced is harmful too. And a Global body should also put a tax on launches that feeds a fund for cleaning up spacedebrie.

  16. Imagine the starlink and other sattelites by a few years ahead. You raise your head up to the night sky and all You can see on it, is a swarm of bright blinking satellites, and with a bit of luck, a single star lurking somewhere far behind. Just can't wait for this (and for the [email protected]#$storm below this comment)

  17. it's baffling yet pathetic that people are just now looking up at the sky because some kind of artificial web is going to revolve around the planet ?

  18. The issue with these damn satellites is that is does not matter how dark your sky is. Your going to look up and see the sky crawling. Good luck doing a long exposure.

  19. Starlink are talking about a phased array antenna which is much smaller than an old TV dish. If they are small enough people in places like Russia will use them and take the risk.

  20. These satellite companies don't have our best interests in mind, they're profit driven and only care about the bottom line. The satellites that are being launched are relatively cheap and won't last forever. At some point all of them will need to be replaced, what then? What happens if companies that put satellites in orbit go out of business? It's only a matter of time before there's a collision between them, after that will we be able to put anything into orbit? You'd better believe that all these companies have thought about this and decided that the profits outweigh the consequences.

  21. Observational astronomy can and will evolve. Satellite pass times are predictable, so choosing observation schedules that dont consider satellite pass times seems primitive, and the astronomy community has the computational tools to make adaptive observation plans.

    I also think shorter CCD integral periods will be key. Rather than integrating one expose for 1hour, break it into 10 exposures that are integrated for 6 minutes each then post-process the frames into a single exposure, dropping any satellite passes, or schedule blanks in multiple exposures around the scheduled satellite passes.

    I do think SpaceX should pay for a falcon9 to launch one astronomy asset per year – 60 space telescopes on one launch vehicle would revolutionize astronomy.

    The history of science has been innovation. The astronomy community needs to embrace change and evolve.

  22. Right now there are only the few, but his plan is over 40,000 more. Plus other competing companies adding to this. All for his great vision of internet access on every square inch of earth?! 

    Ridiculous. Yea internet is convenient, but not more important than food and clean water. Hey dirt farmer, I got billions and I am going to spend it on getting you internet. You will still have to drink from a mud puddle, but then you can go online to bitch about it.

    Musk is a tool. His vision of the world is not better than mine.

  23. We see satellites and airplanes in images all the time. Image processing algorithms find these quite easily. Also, flat frames will not fix this. Sigma clipping and other tools. It’s sucks, but not the end.

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