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Astro Bob

Starlink Satellites May Alter The Night Sky As We Know It

17 Nov 2019, 19:20 UTC
Starlink Satellites May Alter The Night Sky As We Know It
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SpaceX Starlink satellite “train” passing over San Diego on Nov. 12, 2019
Prepare for the industrialization of space. On Nov. 11, SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket loaded with 60 new Starlink satellites, part of an ambitious effort by the organization’s founder, Elon Musk, to provide worldwide internet access via satellite. Tuesday’s liftoff was the second following the inaugural launch in May.
Musk’s initial plan was to create a “constellation” of 12,000 satellites, each the size of a kitchen table, in three orbital shells at altitudes of 217 miles, 342 miles and 715 miles (350 km, 550 km and 1,150 km). That number gave many of us pause because of concerns about changing the appearance of the night sky.
In this artist concept, Starlink satellites unfurl their solar arrays. Electricity from the cells powers a krypton ion propulsion system. SpaceX
Consider this. There are just under 10,000 stars visible with the naked eye across the entire planet on the darkest nights, which would mean more Starlinks than stars! Professional astronomers as well voiced concerns about the effects of so many moving lights on photos and measurements taken by telescopes at observatories across the world. I think most of us would ...

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