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Fake star generates 'space graffiti' complaints

28 posts in this topic

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Farmer77

I cant lie I was pretty p***ed when I read about it...until I finished the article and realized it will burn up in a couple of months anyways. 

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Silver Surfer

"The moment prompted jubilation and pride across New Zealand, with Rocket Lab’s founder and chief executive Peter Beck labelling it an “almost unprecedented” step in commercial space exploration."

Despite what this article says it was a non-event in NZ. Sorry about the eyesore.

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NCC1701

Where can i see it?

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DirtyDocMartens

The self-promotion of a company, disguised as some kind of meaningful human experience. Reminds me of SeaWorld. RocketLab, you're a bunch of douches.

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toast

Track it here

Got this message for my location

Quote

You will not be able to see the satellite within the next 2087 hours. Please check again later

 

Edited by toast
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Piney
20 minutes ago, DirtyDocMartens said:

The self-promotion of a company, disguised as some kind of meaningful human experience. Reminds me of SeaWorld. RocketLab, you're a bunch of douches.

:tu:

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toast
19 hours ago, Farmer77 said:

I cant lie I was pretty p***ed when I read about it...until I finished the article and realized it will burn up in a couple of months anyways. 

Yeah, but:

Quote

FAQ:

Q: Will you put another Humanity Star up when this one de-orbits?

A: We are considering future iterations of the Humanity Star.

 

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Piney
19 hours ago, Farmer77 said:

I cant lie I was pretty p***ed when I read about it...until I finished the article and realized it will burn up in a couple of months anyways. 

It's still a waste of resources and we burden the environment enough. 

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Unfortunately

Yeah, have to agree that sending a large reflective disco ball into space means about as much for human kind as that pie that was dropped; except it's larger, more obtrusive and won't burn up for a little while.

How idiotic. :mellow:

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Grandpa Greenman

I concur,  last thing we need is more light pollution. 

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ROGER

As long as it's identifiable I see no difference compared to  all the commercial satellites in orbit and added to each month .  https://www.windows2universe.org/?page=/kids_space/sat.html

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DirtyDocMartens
27 minutes ago, ROGER said:

As long as it's identifiable I see no difference compared to  all the commercial satellites in orbit and added to each month .  https://www.windows2universe.org/?page=/kids_space/sat.html

The difference is, it will be brighter than any star or planet. And it's an advertisement that the entire world will be forced to watch. Not the same thing at all.

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ChrLzs

Is this fake news about a fake star, maybe?  I'm a little puzzled by the fact that it's supposedly up and running, yet not a single photo or video has yet appeared.....

 

Well, I did find two videos, but they were both laughable and almost 100% *not* what was claimed.  Surely a decent astronomer would have grabbed some imagery by now?  Or maybe it's just my lousy searching - did I miszpellt hoomaniti?

 

Actually, I just dug a little deeper - Heavens Above has this thing in its listings, so I browsed on to find out when it would pass over my area of Australia...  Problem is the magnitude estimates were mostly around 7-8, with a very rare 5.1 and 4.8 thrown in.  Frankly, that's pitiful brightness - the typical naked eye viewing limit is anything up to about 5 - higher numbers will be difficult or impossible to see.  In other words, this thing won't really be naked eye visible at all, and certainly will not be overpowering other stuff in the sky...  The company claims maximum brightness at about 1.6, which is similar to what you might call a fairly bright star, ie not as bright as Sirius, Canopus, Arcturus or Vega, but getting up there...

Anyway, Heaven's Above's listings do not seem to agree with that estimate.  If I was any hopeful observer, I wouldn't hold my breath.

 

I will get out there and have a look, but not until it does a 'brighter' pass, around 6 March.

Edited by ChrLzs
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rodentraiser

First, many, many people are amateur astronomers and the only good time they have to look through their telescopes is when the moon isn't out in the sky. This will basically be a moon that never goes away.

Secondly, this was tried a long time ago. Someone wanted to put up strings of lights in the sky that everyone could see and that idea was knocked down then because of commercialism and the loss of a dark sky at night.

Third, the whole idea lacks class. You want everyone to see what you create, think, sell? Buy a ad like everyone else, but leave the sky alone. That belongs to everyone and it isn't for sale.

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toast
9 minutes ago, rodentraiser said:

First, many, many people are amateur astronomers and the only good time they have to look through their telescopes is when the moon isn't out in the sky.

Thats not correct as the Moon is the by amateur astronomers most observed celestial body. 

Quote

This will basically be a moon that never goes away.

Thats incorrect as well. The object will enter the Earth`s atmosphere in nine month and disappear.

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rodentraiser
2 hours ago, toast said:

Thats not correct as the Moon is the by amateur astronomers most observed celestial body. 

 

I am and have been an amateur astronomer since the mid 80s. If you go to any astronomy club, their star parties are always on a moonless night. Now, when we did star parties for schools and things like that, we held them on a night when the moon was maybe a quarter to half full. But for serious star gazing (which includes looking for galaxies, double stars, nebulae, or any other deep sky object) or astral photography? You need the darkest sky you can get.

There are people who study the moon, but the majority of amateur astronomers study other objects in the night sky that require a dark sky. Most of us wish the moon would just go away.

 

2 hours ago, toast said:

 

Thats incorrect as well. The object will enter the Earth`s atmosphere in nine month and disappear.

That's nine months of stargazing people can't do. Besides, if it's a commercial venture, what makes you think they'll stop with one? I'm surprised the Dark Sky Association hadn't come out against this. They were pretty instrumental in getting those stupid strings-of-lights-in-the-sky idea squashed.

Edited by rodentraiser

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Waspie_Dwarf
4 hours ago, rodentraiser said:

I am and have been an amateur astronomer since the mid 80s. If you go to any astronomy club, their star parties are always on a moonless night. Now, when we did star parties for schools and things like that, we held them on a night when the moon was maybe a quarter to half full. But for serious star gazing (which includes looking for galaxies, double stars, nebulae, or any other deep sky object) or astral photography? You need the darkest sky you can get.

Strawman argument. Toast said it was the most observed object, he made no mention of star parties.

Many amateurs do not have telescopes and instead use binoculars. Deep sky objects are not available to them so guess what they tend to look at. Likewise many amateurs live in cities and have no access to darks skies, making dee sky observing problematic at best, impossible at worst. Guess what they tend to look at.

4 hours ago, rodentraiser said:

There are people who study the moon, but the majority of amateur astronomers study other objects in the night sky that require a dark sky. Most of us wish the moon would just go away.

Any decent astronomical society will have a large and active lunar observation section. They will, if they have members interested in useful, practical, astronomy have many members untested in conjunctions, for which the moon is a vital tool.

Deep sky observers are only part of the amateur astronomical community.

4 hours ago, rodentraiser said:

That's nine months of stargazing people can't do. Besides, if it's a commercial venture, what makes you think they'll stop with one? I'm surprised the Dark Sky Association hadn't come out against this. They were pretty instrumental in getting those stupid strings-of-lights-in-the-sky idea squashed.

As for the impact of this satellite you are either overreacting or really don't have a tiniest clue what you are talking about.

The amount of star gazing it will stop in those nine months is none at all, zero, zilch, zip, nada.

Unlike the moon it is a point source of light. It will not significantly lighten the sky like the moon does. Like the myriad other satellites in the sky it will rarely pass over any given spot on Earth and will be gone in a few minutes. Unless it passes through your field of view whilst you are observing you probably won't even notice it is there.

What's more, like all other satellites in LEO it needs to be in sunlight, whilst the observers on the ground are not, for it to be visible. This means that it can only be visible at dawn or dusk, when amateur astronomers that actually know what they are doing are not attempting to do deep sky astronomy anyway.

For amateurs it will have little to no impact.

The International Space Station is the third brightest object in the sky after the sun and moon. It has been in orbit for over 19 years. If there was any truth in what you say there would have been no stargazing since November 1998. That is clear not the case.

This one satellite, on its own, will cause few problems, it is the trend it may cause that is the issue. Satellites which have no purpose other than to shine brightly should not be encouraged.

I suggest you keep going to the Star Parties and try to find someone with knowledge of satellite observation, you have a phenomenal amount to learn in that area.

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rodentraiser

Well, DUH, the moon is the most observed item in the night sky. How could you NOT see it when looking up at night.

Many amateurs start with binoculars and then go on to get a telescope. Yes, there are people who study the moon, draw it, photograph it, and time lunar occultations. And yes, as I said, when we did star parties for the public or for a school, we went out on a night when the moon was half to a quarter full, because we knew that people like to see the moon up close.

But if the moon is so popular for observing, then why, to a person, do the people in astronomy clubs gather on a moonless night, or drive hundreds of miles to a dark sky location to view the night sky through their telescopes? Because the majority of them look at and for items they couldn't find if the moon was up.

But even living in cities doesn't mean you can't do dark sky observation. Sometimes it's even easier because you can pick out the main stars of constellations. I lived in downtown San Jose less than a mile from Hwys 17 and 280 and practically next to Valley Fair mall. I was still able to take my scope out and see double stars and some of the brighter globular clusters and nebulae. So saying people in light filled areas can't see anything but the moon is not entirely correct.

If this satellite won't cause any viewing problems, then that's fine. But, like you, the thing that I'm most worried about is what happens when the next satellite goes up, and the next, and the next. How would like to look up in the night and see a long string of lights saying "Drink Coke" in orbit one night? Laugh, but it could happen if it's not nipped in the bud now.

I'm always learning every time I go to a star party. It's been my fortune to meet many fine astronomers to learn from, among them Don Machholz who showed me a geosynchronous satellite one night in my telescope to John Dobson himself. I'm aware I don't know everything about astronomy or satellites. However, most people don't point out that fact as rudely as you did.

 

 

Edited by rodentraiser

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toast
1 hour ago, rodentraiser said:

But if the moon is so popular for observing, then why, to a person, do the people in astronomy clubs gather on a moonless night, or drive hundreds of miles to a dark sky location to view the night sky through their telescopes? Because the majority of them look at and for items they couldn't find if the moon was up.

If they go for deep-sky or planets or comets, then they mostly go out on moonless nights. If they want to observe or want to do videography of the Moon, then they go out when the Moon is visible. Its just that simple.

Edited by toast
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rodentraiser

Here in the US it's moonless night dark sky parties that are the most popular.

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ChaosRose

A disco ball...in space. 

Ugh...Earth is clearly the Cousin Eddie of the Galaxy. 

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Hammerclaw

There are hundreds of satellites visible to the naked eye in a night sky unpolluted by light--what's one more?   

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ChrLzs

To repeat, for those not seeming to keep up...

1. It's NOT 'large'. It's barely 3 feet in diameter, and the individual panels, only one of which is likely to be reflecting at any moment, are triangles of about 10" per side.  That's a pitifully small reflective area - compare that to the highly polished solar panels of the Iridium satellites which are about 1m x 2m.  Yet most people have never seen an Iridium flare, let alone know about it.

2. The guesstimations from the company that the satellite could be magnitude 1 (which is an 'averagely' bright star) are ridiculous.  It seems that at most it gets up to about Magnitude 4, possibly 3.  Mag 4 is the brightness of a very DIM star, and would not be noticeable unless you knew exactly where to look at the right moment, in a very dark sky.

3. No space organisations or astronomers are seriously protesting about this.  (But I do agree that something significantly brighter could be an issue.)

4. Despite this having been aloft for quite a while already, no significant video or even time lapse still images of the satellite have yet been posted anywhere that I can find, so clearly the claims of it being 'bright' are just exaggerated rubbish.  Nobody can find the dam thing...

 

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Hammerclaw
3 hours ago, ChrLzs said:

To repeat, for those not seeming to keep up...

1. It's NOT 'large'. It's barely 3 feet in diameter, and the individual panels, only one of which is likely to be reflecting at any moment, are triangles of about 10" per side.  That's a pitifully small reflective area - compare that to the highly polished solar panels of the Iridium satellites which are about 1m x 2m.  Yet most people have never seen an Iridium flare, let alone know about it.

2. The guesstimations from the company that the satellite could be magnitude 1 (which is an 'averagely' bright star) are ridiculous.  It seems that at most it gets up to about Magnitude 4, possibly 3.  Mag 4 is the brightness of a very DIM star, and would not be noticeable unless you knew exactly where to look at the right moment, in a very dark sky.

3. No space organisations or astronomers are seriously protesting about this.  (But I do agree that something significantly brighter could be an issue.)

4. Despite this having been aloft for quite a while already, no significant video or even time lapse still images of the satellite have yet been posted anywhere that I can find, so clearly the claims of it being 'bright' are just exaggerated rubbish.  Nobody can find the dam thing...

 

It's lost in the crowd of other visible satellites. I think it's more of a case of P.E. and some obnoxious types wanting to rain on the Kiwi's parade.

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