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It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! It’s…12,000 Satellites. Could They Be Ruining the Sky?

18 Aug 2019, 20:39 UTC
It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! It’s…12,000 Satellites. Could They Be Ruining the Sky?
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Aerospace juggernauts SpaceX, Boeing and now Amazon hope to drastically improve satellite internet, one batch of low-orbiting satellites at a time. The most recent SpaceX launch added 60 satellites to their active fleet, an early fraction of the nearly 12,000 the company plans to set into orbit in the coming months.SpaceX launched their satellites in quick succession, sending a string of fast-moving white dots streaking across the sky. In the Netherlands, the event incited more than 150 UFO sighting reports. After seeing astronomer Dr. Marco Langbroek’s video of the satellite caravan, it’s understandable why so many were concerned.These aren’t your typical satellitesTraditional internet or TV satellites hover around 22,000 miles above the Earth. They are geostationary, meaning their orbit speed syncs with the Earth’s rotation so they stay in the same place relative to the ground. Their fixed position and distance from the Earth makes for a broad, constant service area; it also keeps them far out of natural sight.Low-orbiting satellites fly much closer to the ground, somewhere between 110 and 1,200 miles up. At this height, gravity is more of a factor, so the satellites must stay in constant motion to keep from getting pulled out of orbit. They’ll ...

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