The advent of satellites has been a great boon for researchers and technology, but as their number continues to grow, some worry that they will hinder the ability to observe the night sky.
SpaceX has recently launched a fresh batch of Starlink satellites. Sixty satellites were brought into the orbit with the help of a Falcon 9 rocket, which was launched from Cape Canaveral earlier in January. They joined another sixty satellites that were launched earlier in 2019. With the help of these satellites, SpaceX plans to offer the ability to access the internet in areas were the infrastructure is missing or underdeveloped.
While the purpose is noble, some researchers worry that the light released by these satellites (along with the fact that they effectively block the view) will change the look of the night sky negatively. As more companies will continue to bring satellites into the orbit, the average person will lose the ability to capture or to admire beautiful stars since it will be hard to determine if they are looking at a real star or a satellite.
More and more corporations plan to launch satellites
It is expected that stargazing communities will offer serious backlash in the future as companies plan to expand their satellite constellation into what has been described as mega-constellations. For example, SpaceX has received the permission to launch up to 12,000 Starlink satellites, and documentation has been already filled to increase the limit by another 30,000 satellites.
Amazon has also sent a letter that requests the permission to launch 3.236 satellites as a part of the upcoming Kuiper System project that is being developed by the giant.
The effect will be visible across all over the world as the sky continues to become more crowded in the long run. More than 2,000 operational satellites are floating around Earth right now.
As our second lead editor, Anna C. Mackinno provides guidance on the stories Great Lakes Ledger reporters cover. She has been instrumental in making sure the content on the site is clear and accurate for our readers. If you see a particularly clever title, you can likely thank Anna. Anna received a BA and and MA from Fordham University.