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Eldorado

Astronomers ask UN to protect skies from megaconstellations

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Eldorado

At first, they provided a new type of heavenly spectacle. But Space's Starlink internet satellite trains traveling across the sky in neat formations after the launch of each batch of the megaconstellation's spacecraft have long annoyed astronomers.

The IAU has now decided to take the issue to the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UN COPUOS), according to Thomas Schildknecht, the deputy director of the Astronomical Institute of the University of Bern, Switzerland, who represents Switzerland in the IAU.

The organization of astronomers is requesting that UN COPUOS protect the sky's darkness for the sake of future advancements in astronomy.

Space dot Com report at MSN

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Likely Guy

I agree with them, which is more than a bit ironic since I'm now using my neighbour's Starlink portal. I haven't been on the internet for about two years because my provider discontinued my dial up. I live in a remote community where fibre optics and cell towers have never reached.

I'm torn on this issue.

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Michelle

I'm glad to see you back and to know you are still breathing. ;)

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Hammerclaw

Please stop progress providing internet to developing countries to protect a privileged elite's hobby. Yeah, that should go over well.

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ted hughes

I just found this, looks good:  See A Satellite Tonight (darpinian.com)

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ChrLzs

As I pointed out some time back, I think some sensible limits might be good, but... it's NOT as huge a problem as is made out - the astronomers never mention that these sats are only visible for an hour or so each night after dusk and before dawn, so ...

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...They just need to wait about an hour...  These sats are only lit up when the Sun shines on them, which is generally in the 1-2 hours after dusk. and before dawn.  So, are they mildly annoying? - yes, but really only for deep space astronomers chasing particular targets - it may become difficult or reduce their available dates/times for observations. 

For everyone else, they just wait out that initial hour or so of visibility, and enjoy the little light show in the meantime...

 

 

 

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TheSpaceResident

I understand the concerns of astronomers, but I want to advise them to visit Stuff in Space and see how many satellites are already orbiting the Earth, so even if space agencies will reduce the number of satellites they launch, almost nothing will change I think. Moreover, satellites do a lot of good for us besides providing Internet: it isn't worth forgetting about environmental satellites. Recently I came across this website, and spend a few hours reading posts on this blog. As I found out then, it's a website of a South African company that manufactures imagers for satellites.  I advise everyone who is against launching satellites to check this blog to understand why I don't consider satellites something negative. 

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