Elon Musk's 'bright' Starlink satellite train sparks regulation debate
- Elon Musk’s
Starlinkproject’s ‘satellite train’ is spotted in the skies all over the world.
- Those same shiny lights are also causing trouble for Musk as astronomers allege that the satellites are blocking out the view of outer space.
- Musk responded on Twitter saying that Starlink will have "0% impact on advancement in astronomy".
- The National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) and the Green Bank Observatory (GRO) have been working in collaboration with
SpaceXto analyse the potential impact of the Starlink satellite constellation.
Astronomers, on the other hand, are rallying against Elon Musk’s broadband enterprise launched on May 24, for beaming out lights that are blocking the rest of the cosmos.
The National Radio Astronomy Observatory ( NRAO) and the Green Bank Observatory (GRO) have been working in collaboration with SpaceX to jointly analyse the potential impact of the Starlink satellite constellation.
I know people are excited about those images of the train of SpaceX Starlink satellites, but it gives me pause. Th… https://t.co/bfHjpFLd5l— Alex Parker (@Alex_Parker) 1558763890000
Musk lashed back on Twitter saying that the satellite will have "0% impact on advancement in astronomy" and that "telescopes should be moved into space anyway".
@varunversion1 @Erdayastronaut @SpaceX There are already 4900 satellites in orbit, which people notice ~0% of the t… https://t.co/Sn6WAESCzw— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 1558938744000
He went on to assure that SpaceX could tweak the solar reflection if a critical astronomical experiment is taking place.
@13ericralph31 @varunversion1 @Erdayastronaut @SpaceX If we need to tweak sat orientation to minimize solar reflect… https://t.co/nhxICJ7pOa— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 1558939948000
As long as the satellites are helping billions of people who live in connectivity starved areas get internet, "it’s worth it" in his opinion.
@fcain @varunversion1 @Erdayastronaut @SpaceX Exactly, potentially helping billions of economically disadvantaged p… https://t.co/N6eqWTUKK2— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 1558941101000
It’s bigger than Starlink
Right now the fuss is over 60 satellites that Musk launched for Starlink — a project that is set to grow to 12,000 satellites.
As a quick check, I just modeled 12,000 copies of the typical orbits of Starlink satellites launched this week. At… https://t.co/wKyhWBJZnP— Alex Parker (@Alex_Parker) 1558804829000
The problem of satellites blocking out the view of telescopes from Earth, exists beyond Musk’s Starlink satellite constellation. A bunch of other companies including Jeff Bezos-backed Blue Origin, have plans to launch their own satellite constellations out into space.
The NRAO has stated that the guidelines resulting from discussions with SpaceX can be further be used on other satellite constellations as well.
The observations also overlooking proposals on exclusion zones and other mitigations for SpaceX in order to determine the parameters of satellite constellations.
Bill Keel, an astronomer at the University of Alabama, told AFP that it’s not just optical astronomers that are concerned but radio astronomers as well — like the group of researchers who captured the first ever image of a black hole.
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