(ORDO NEWS) — Constellations of satellites in low Earth orbit, including SpaceX Starlink and Amazon Kuiper, pose “a greater threat to astronomy than light pollution,” experts warn.
Astronomers have created a special committee that should decide the future of such devices
As of February 2022, there are 2,000 SpaceX Starlink satellites in space, with 42,000 more planned to be launched in the coming years! And this is just one of a number of firms seeking to fill low Earth orbit with spacecraft.
These networks of tens and thousands of spacecraft are a real threat to science, as they leave streaks on images of space.
To solve this problem and, probably, to stop the further spread of such devices, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) created the Center for the Protection of Dark and Quiet Sky from Satellite Interference.
Piero Benvenuti, secretary general of the IAU and director of the new center, said these networks are the biggest threat facing modern astronomy.
The director plans to bring together astronomers, satellite network operators and regulators to come up with solutions that could include changes to observatory software and satellite adjustments to reduce their impact on observations.
It is important to note that despite the popularity of SpaceX, the company is not a “loner” in this area. For example, Amazon Kuiper and OneWeb have long been launching their satellites, and soon China plans to deploy its own network of 13,000 spacecraft.
The purpose of these networks is to provide satellite Internet to the most remote parts of the planet where fiber is not viable.
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