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Satellites versus stars: Which will dominate the sky?

28 Sep 2021, 12:00 UTC
Satellites versus stars: Which will dominate the sky?
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View at EarthSky Community Photos. | In this photo’s battle of satellites versus stars, the satellites appear to be winning. The more vertical lines are star trails. The parallel straight lines in the upper right are Starlink satellites. There are also 2 meteors in this photo. Charlie Favret in Round Rock, Texas, captured this photo on December 13, 2019. He wrote: “I was curious to know if one could see the Starlink satellites on a bright night a couple of days after a full moon and inside the city limits. The answer is most definitely yes … While it was a stunning sight, is it also a sign of the night sky horror to come?” Thank you, Charlie.
Satellites versus stars
Imagine yourself standing in a rural spot in the dark of night, staring up at the sky. Astronomers estimate that, from a dark site, we see about 2,000 stars with the eye alone. And if we’re lucky, we might also see a satellite, or even two, crossing the sky. But, in the future, a significant of the 2,000 visible “stars” might not be stars at all. A new simulation, released in September 2021, suggests many might be human-made satellites: ...

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